Eleven Painted Terrapin Caught and Marked in First Survey

Our first survey was carried out for two weeks in early May. We found eleven Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis). Six males, five females. The survey was between the 3rd and 16th of May.  After the data was collected and every individual marked they were released into the rivers where they were originally caught.

we used banana for bait

The survey was carried out over six rivers in Mangrove Protected Forest in three sub-districts. Two rivers are in Sub-district Seruway, three rivers in Sub-district Bendahara, one river in Sub-district Manyak Payed. From the eleven individuals we found four were caught in rivers in Sub-district Seruway, seven from Sub-district Bendahara. We could not find any individuals in Sub-district Bendahara, although the rivers had typical characteristics as seen in Seruway and Bendahara.

Laying a trap under Sonneratia sp.

Using banana to bait our trap, called Bubu (Bahasa Indonesia) as shown in picture above. The trap is one meter in length, sixty centimetres high and eighty centimetres wide. Ten traps were used. We checked the traps every two hours. If there were no Painted Terrapin we would move to another place in the same river. The traps were placed in more than of one location in the same river in a day. Next day we moved to another location in another rivers. Salinity for each location was also measured and coordinates recorded.

Laying a trap in another river

In the first week no Painted Terrapin were trapped. In the second week, our trap was effective. The high water in first week, spread them over the mangrove area or moving up the river.

Male of Painted Terrapin caught by our trap

The trapped Painted Terrapin were measured: length and width of their carapace (curve). Weight and sex determination. After data had been collected we then made a hole, 4 mm, by drilling in their marginal carapace for a tag. The drilling does not cause blood, though before and after drilling, the surface of carapace and plastron was cleaned with alcohol to prevent infection. Betadine was applied to the hole.

Tag ID

Every Painted Terrapin caught was then released in the same location. “This is useful to monitor their movement if the same terrapin is caught in another place in a further survey”, said Joko Guntoro (principal investigator). According to the plan the second survey will carried out about a month later to give the terrapins a chance to mix with the un-captured  still the wild.

Habitat of Painted Terrapin

The participants of survey were: Joko Guntoro, Yusriyono, Abdul Hakim from Lembaga SatuCita; Laksmana from Panglima Laot (traditional institution for sea management); Abu Bakar (former hunter of Painted Terrapin in end of 90’s); staff of Board for Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA); staff of District Forestry Office.

our tent was submerged by high tide

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