Nest patrol to secure Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) eggs which conducted by Satucita Foundation together with BBKSDA (Agency of Natural Resources Conservation) Province of North Sumatera, Section II Region Stabat, and two villagers have successfully secured 15 eggs of two nests of two nesting beaches located in Langkat Timur Laut Willdlife Reserves, Province of North Sumatera, Indonesia.

 

This patrol is the second nest patrol which conducted in those area by BBKSDA North Sumatera and Satucita Foundation. The first was on January last year which only successfully secured 1 nest, but unfortunately failed to hatch. We are expecting that this year, those eggs of nest patrol will be able successfully to hatch.

The nest patrol in Langkat has been started from 2nd February and estimated will be lasting on end of February. So, totally, 27 days will be spent on the field by our team. During patrol, member of the team will be boating – about one hour or 5 km – from the camp to nesting beach. Then, walking along the beach to searching for the footstep of the nesting female.

terrapin eggs eaten by wild boar.
Terrapin eggs that eaten by wild boar on the beach. (Photo: Guntoro/Satucita Foundation)

There are two nesting beach which covered by our patrol. The first is called Beting Tuntong with 100 meter length, then Sarang Elang with about 200 meter length. Although it has similar characteristics compared to nesting beach in Aceh Tamiang, but the beach in Langkat is shorter and smaller than in Aceh Tamiang. So, when we need more efforts (time/hours and energy) to walk along the beach in Aceh Tamiang, we only need about 20 minutes to walk along nesting beach in Langkat.

The first nest of this protected species in Indonesia is found by the team at about 2.35 am on 3 February. Trashes on the beach and small sandy area make us very difficult to find the track and nest. Even, there were three clutches dug by the terrapin. We had to excavating the two clucth (holes) before we find the correct clutch with 8 eggs. We spent almost one hour to find that nest. After find the nest, we collecting eggs and move it into bucket filled by sands and reburied the eggs into artifical nest located in camp. The depth (bottom and top of the eggs) and width are the same compared to original nest. We are expecting the eggs will be able to hatch on April. Based on our nine years experience, the eggs need about 69 – 118 days to hatch.

Painted terrapin eggs.
Terrapin eggs in nest. (Photo: Guntoro/Satucita)

The second nest with 7 eggs was found by fishermen on another beach – about three hours by boat from camp – on 6 February. They inform to villagers and staff of BBKSDA Section II Stabat. Then, the eggs was rescued by the team and incubated at the same place as the first nest.

These findings show that wild adult Painted Terrapin in Langkat is still be able to regenerating naturally. But, our findings of about three to five empty nest, also some remaining of egg shell, show that the eggs on the beach are not save from wild boar, lizard and human. Also, by seeing the small number of eggs in those nest, we are guess that those female terrapin are juvenile or “new comer” in nesting eggs. (admin)

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