Nesting season for the critically endangered species Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) was ended in January 2022, as well as for our regular nest patrol activity. Totally, the team was only able to save 372 eggs from 26 nests on nesting beaches in the District of Langkat and the District of Aceh Tamiang. Some other nests were stolen by unknown irresponsible men or had been eaten by natural predators such as lizards or wild boar (Sus scrofa) before our team saved it.
The nest patrol was carried out from December 2021 to January 2022, although the nesting season is typically from the end of November to February. However, based on our field notes, the peak season – a time where the number of nests found is higher than other times – is usually at the end of December through early January. That was heavy rain at that period, so the effectiveness of the nest patrol this year was low.
In that patrol, only a few adult females were found when nesting. All are new females, without PIT Tag, so we tagged them with microchips for future identification.
Unfriendly weather was the main challenge faced by our team on the field. Heavy rain and storm made our team could not ent to the nesting beaches from the village, and could not walk and find the nests along the beach. The nest patrol was only able to carry out about 60 to 70 percent of the days planned.
In addition, changes in the field situation such as increasingly dense vegetation, and mud, made it difficult for our team to find the footprint of nesting females.
Other challenges are the natural predators such as wild boar or lizards who usually eat the Painted Terrapin eggs or very few villagers who still harvesting eggs. We must compete with them to find and save the eggs on long nesting beaches.
Carried out by a joint team
The nest patrol in the Karang Gading Langkat Timur Laut Wildlife Reserves, District of Langkat, was conducted by our staff, the staff of the Big Agency of Conservation of Natural Resources (Balai Besar Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam) Province of North Sumatera, villagers of Village of Jaring Halus.
At the same time, the nest patrol in Ujung Tamiang mangrove forest, District of Aceh Tamiang, was conducted by our staff, staff of the Agency of Conservation of Natural Resources (Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam) Province of Aceh, villagers of Village Jaring Halus.