To save Painted terrapin, one of the most critically endagered freshwater turtles on the world, from extinction, the Satucita Foundation always carry out nest patrol during nesting season. From December 2020 to February 2021, our team conducted nest patrol on two nesting sites in Ujung Tamiang, District of Aceh Tamiang. This is our 10th nest patrol in Aceh Tamiang, Province of Aceh.

The team members who carry out nest patrol on Ujung Tamiang were consist of staff of Agency of Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA) Province Aceh, staff of Satucita Foundation, member of tourism group in Village Pusung Kapal dan Sungai Kuruk III, staff of PT Pertamina Rantau. In the same time, a team from Office of Fisheries and Marine of Aceh Tamiang was also conducted nest patrol on Beach Kuala Genting.

Collecting painted terrapin eggs
Our volunteer collecting the eggs into bucket before transferred to hacthery. (Photo: Hakim/YSLI)

The team were based in Village Pusung Kapal. They go to the beach every evening, just before the tide, to search for Painted terrapin female’s tracks and find her nest. They walked along about 4 – 5 km every night on the beach to do this. When the nest found, the team member dug the nest and relocated the eggs into foam box or bucket which filled by beach sands. Then, return to village and reburry the eggs into artificial nest in hatchery. The depth and width of artificial nest are same compared to original nest.

From this year nest patrol, 579 eggs of 33 nests were secured from illegal harvesting and natural predation by Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and lizard (Varanus salvator).  These eggs were found on Beach Ujung Tamiang dan Pusung Cium. However, mostly from Ujung Tamiang. Of those total number, 330 eggs successfully hatched and currently are being raised in pool at Painted Terrapin Information Center before released back into wild. Basic morphometric data of these offspring have recorded in our database. So, we can monitor the growt in the long term.  

Painted terrapin nest
Eggs inside the clutch. (Photo: Hakim/YSLI)

Some eggs failed to hatch due to not fertile or eaten by ants when incubated in hatchery. As of today, more of 3500 of Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) hatchlings have been released back into wild since this program launched.

Hatchling of Painted terrapin in Aceh. (Photo: YSLI)

We would like to thank to Synchronicity Earth, Houston Zoo, Turtle Survival Alliance, Pertamina EP to support our activity. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want your community, organization, company want to be involved and reached by our Painted terrapin conservation program!

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