Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) relies on riverine vegetations, particularly Berembang (Sonneratia sp.), to live. Painted terrapin eats leaves and fruit of Berembang. This species is also exploit logs at riverine for basking. Although this critically endangered species is reported eat fish and crustaceans, the riverine vegetations are still particular. The destruction of riverine vegetations such as converted to farming, oil palm plantation will bring negative serious impact to wild population. Hundreds of hectare if riverine have been converted.
In order support the wild population, a recovery of degradated and converted habitat is needed. About 10,000 tree of Berembang (Sonneratia sp.) will be planted. Therfore, two community group has been established and trained. These groups are from two village, Village Pusong Kapal and Sungai Kurok III. Both of these villages are the nearest or can be said as buffer zone of Painted terrapin habitat. The groups have 20 members.
The member of group is responsible for building nursery of Berembang, planting the tree and monitoring after planting. The all process is facilitated by Satucita Foundation. The member building nursery at their backyard. Currently, the seedlings grew well. To cultivate this plant, the seedlings must be located on flooded place such as riverine.
It is expected that the seedlings will be planted on September this year. The planting is planned will involving youth, students, villagers, government. It can be said that this is the first effort to reforest the mangrove forest with Berembang. The reforestation will be developed countinuously to empower the fishermen and support Painted terrapin conservation. (SF)