The headstarting facility for Painted Terrapin has been established and still improved. In the area of 800 square meters, the facility is functioned as ex-situ conservation place to support in-situ conservation of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) in Aceh Tamiang District. Batagur borneoensis is critically endangered species and listed as one of twenty five global freshwater turtle in endangered 2011 (Turtle Conservation Coalition). The species is distributed in Sumatera and Kalimantan, but has been facing threats to extinction in the wild due to the consumption the their eggs, the trade as pet and medicine, habitat loss (deforestation and land conversion).

This basic facility has three ponds, they are one pond for hatchery, one pond for hatchling and one for juvenile recently. The hatchery pond has large of 12 square meters; the hatchling pond has large 16 square meters and the juvenile pond has large of 28 square meters. The depth of hatchery pond is 1.2 meter, pond for hatchlings is 1 meter and 1.5 meter for adult.

The hatchery pond is expected could be to accommodate until 200 eggs. The pond for hacthling is expected could be to accommodate about 200 until 400 hatchlings. For the juvenile pond is expected could be to accommodate about 50 individuals. Therefore, we plan to expand the pond for juvenile in 2012, so it could be to accommodate at least more than of 100 until 200 juvenile. The expansion of the pond for juvenile and adult is an urgent to support the long term in-situ conservation effort. The pond (ex-situ) is functioned to keep the individual before released to the habitat (in-situ). By the assumption that the individual must have strong enough to survive, this is why we must build more pond for juvenile.

Recently, we are trying to make some improvement to this facility such as gardening, fencing, installment of artificial plants in the ponds. We are hope that this facility can be started to operate since next year, although for hatchery is can be started since this nesting season (November 2011 until February 2012).

The establishing of this basic headstarting facility is supported by seed grant from Turtle Survival Alliance In the long term, the facility will be improved and expected could be a leading facility for freshwater turtle conservation and education. If you want to know fruther information about the facility, please contact us at and write “headstarting facility” in your subject.

6 thoughts on “Establishing Headstarting Facility for Batagur borneoensis

  1. Hello. I think you guys are doing a wonderful job. I currently work at an aquarium in the US and we house Batagurs and I am hoping to start a breeding program with this species. I have also been involved in rehabiliation of sick and injured Batagurs in captivity. I would love to find out more about the work you are doing and also I am interested in finding out about any volunteer opportunities you may have at your facility. I have been working in the aquarium environment for about 10 years and have decided to turn my focus to field work and conservation. On another topic, we do have a conservation committee at our facility and I would be happy to present your research to them as a possible topic of support. Thank you so much for your time.

    1. Many thanks Christine. You are also doing a great job for Batagur there. I think we can learn many things from you about the husbandry of Batagur based on your experiences there. You can contact us at our email or our principal investigator email to know further information about what we do and what will we do. It is really great if you can give us opportunity to present our progam of Batagur to your committee. May we know your email? Many thanks Christine

      1. Hi…thanks for getting back to me. I agree, I definitely think we can all learn from each other and I am more than happy to talk to you about what I am doing here with our Batagurs. I have been talking with Rick Hudson from TSA and he has forwarded Joko’s proposals to me. I will plan on emailing you in the next couple of days and you can also contact me directly at

        Look forward to talking more.


    1. Thanks Pelf. We design it by me and also based on the some natural behavior of the turtles, such as artificial beach for basking in the pond. The facility of Tuntong Conservation Centre in your place, Kuala Terengganu, also become an input to building the facility here.

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