Green Turtle Hatchlings Released Back to the Sea

One hundred and nine Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings released back to the sea in the ceremony attended by Regent of Aceh Tamiang District and another local leaders and stakeholders that was held in Beach Pusong Cium, Subdistrict Seruway, Aceh, Indonesia. Continue reading “Green Turtle Hatchlings Released Back to the Sea”


Facts about turtles

  • Consist of 331 species – turtles, freshwater turtles, tortoises, terrapins and sea turtles – throughout the world.
  • The only place where turtles are can’t live is Antarctica.
  • They are only vertebrates on Earth whose arms connect to their body.
  • The most freshwater turtles are temperature-dependent sex determinant. High temperature produce female, while low temperature produce male.
English: Adult Dermochelys coriacea, Leatherba...
English: Adult Dermochelys coriacea, Leatherback Sea Turtle Türkçe: yumurta bırakmak için gece kumsala çıkmış bir deri sırtlı deniz kaplumbağası (Dermochelys coriacea) görüntüsüdür. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Turtles have been on the earth for more than 200 million years. They evolved before mammals, birds, crocodiles, snakes, and even lizards. Turtles are one of the oldest and most primitive groups of reptiles and have outlived many other species. One can only wonder if their unique shell is responsible for their longevity. But, a newest study shows that they are not too primitive and more related to bird.
  • The earliest turtles had teeth and could not retract their heads, but other than this, modern turtles are very similar to their original ancestors.
aldabra tortoise
aldabra tortoise
  • Several species of turtles can live over a hundred years of age, for example Aldabra tortoise. A documented case of longevity involves an adult Indian Ocean Giant Tortoise that, when captured as an adult, was estimated to be fifty years old. It then lived another 152 years in captivity.
  • Turtles have good eyesight and an excellent sense of smell. Hearing and sense of touch are both good and even the shell contains nerve endings.
  • Some aquatic turtles can absorb oxygen through the skin on their neck and cloacal areas allowing them to remain submerged underwater for extended periods of time and enabling them to hibernate underwater. All turtles can go without oxygen for several hours, but the western painted turtle can go without oxygen for 30 hours at room temperature and four months at 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
painted turtle (
  • Turtles will live in almost any climate warm enough to allow them to complete their breeding cycle.
  • Most freshwater turtles do not tolerate the cold well, but the Blanding’s turtle has been observed swimming under the ice in the Great Lakes region.
  • Turtles range in size from the 4-inch such as Bog Turtle to the 1500-pound such as Leatherback turtle (a species of sea turtle). The biggest freshwater turtle ever found is Rafetus swinhoei in Vietnam.
Rafetus swinhoei
Rafetus swinhoei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • North America, China and Indonesia have a large variety of turtle species, but Europe contains only two species of turtle and three species of tortoise.
  • The top domed part of a turtle’s shell is called the carapace, and the bottom underlying part is called the plastron.
  • The shell of a turtle is made up of 60 different bones all connected together.
  • The bony portion of the shell is covered with plates (scutes) that are derivatives of skin and offer additional strength and protection.
  • Most land tortoises have high, domed carapaces that offer protection from the snapping jaws of terrestrial predators. Aquatic turtles tend to have flatter, more aerodynamically shaped shells.
red eared slider (photo:naturemappingfoundation)
  • A species of freshwater turtles Red Eared Slider is the most invasive species in the world.

Spiny turtle (Heosemys spinosa)

Heosemys spinosa is a very distinctive turtle. It has a sharp point on each marginal scute of the carapace and several more along the keel. There are smaller spines on the pleural scutes, creating the effect of a walking pin cushion. Adults may lose of the spines along the keel and pleural scutes. The carapace is brown with a lighter stripe down the center. The underside of the marginals and the plastron are buff colored with dark radiating stripes on each scute. The head may be brown or gray with a yellow spot on each side. The legs are gray with yellow speckling. The feet are slightly webbed. A medium sized turtle, the spiny turtle is about 9 inches long in adulthood. The spiny turtle (Heosemys spinosa) inhabits lowland and hill rainforest, usually in the vicinity of small streams, mainly in hill areas up to 900 m.

The spiny turtle is known from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

IUCN: Endangered; CITES: Appendix II

photo: joko guntoro

Heosemys_spinosa_joko guntoro
Heosemys_spinosa_joko guntoro
carapace of Heosemys spinosa (photo: joko guntoro)
carapace of Heosemys spinosa (photo: joko guntoro)
plastron of H.spinosa (photo: joko guntoro)
plastron of H.spinosa (photo: joko guntoro)

Fencing the Area of Rearing Facility

Area of rearing facility of Tuntong Laut (Painted terrapin/Batagur borneoensis) have been fenced. Fencing is done to prevent disturbance by animals, such as goats and cattle, which often enter the area. Also to prevent the possibility of human disorders such as theft. This area will be complemented by several CCTV cameras for security support. Continue reading “Fencing the Area of Rearing Facility”

Eighty One Hatchlings of Painted Terrapin Produced

A total of eighty one hatchlings of Tuntong Laut (Painted terrapin / Batagur borneoensis) has been produced until Tuesday, April 2, 2013. The eighty one babies are the result of hatching effort conducted by satucita foundation since December 2012 in its rearing facility. Continue reading “Eighty One Hatchlings of Painted Terrapin Produced”

Secure Painted Terrapin Eggs

Since the 10th December 2012 we have been conducting a nesting patrol to secure eggs from human threats and natural predation. Our team accompanied by a forestry officer has secured 69 eggs of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) from 4 nests on two different nesting beaches. In this period we also recorded that two females failed to lay eggs due to being caught in fishermen’s nets located around the nesting beach. Continue reading “Secure Painted Terrapin Eggs”

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.

Continue reading “Eleven Painted Terrapin Caught and Marked in First Survey”

Students’ Awareness to Save Batagur borneoensis Increased After Campaign

We have implemented a campaign to increase students’ awareness of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis). A critically endangered species listed as one of twenty five freshwater turtles endangered at a global level. More than six hundred students in Sub-district Seruway, Aceh Tamiang, Indonesia, have been educated. Students’ awareness increased after a campaign that indicated that 94,44 percent of respondents answered correctly to the status of the Painted Terrapin as critically endangered. Compared to pre-campaign survey on July where only 57,7 percent of respondents knew the status. Continue reading “Students’ Awareness to Save Batagur borneoensis Increased After Campaign”

Preparation of Field Survey

We will carry out first of comprehensive field survey to estimating the number of wild population of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) in District of Aceh Tamiang. Recently, we are still in organizing any preparations needed before to the field. Equipments (traps, gears, medical kits), obtain permit, transportation, communication and logistics, recruiting and training local guide are must be prepared very well. We expecting that the permit will be issued in the last week of March. Continue reading “Preparation of Field Survey”

Unknown Tagged Hawksbill Sea Turtle Caught

Unknown tagged Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) was caught by fishermen in Seruway Sub-district, District of Aceh Tamiang, Indonesia, on 23rd of January 2012. This turtle was caught by a fishing net at nearby of Pusong Cium, a beach where Painted Terrapin nest every year. Continue reading “Unknown Tagged Hawksbill Sea Turtle Caught”