hatchlings of painted terrapin

Result of Nest Patrol to Secure Terrapin Eggs 2017

The nest patrol activity was finished last mont. That five months nest patrol was successfully secured 424 eggs of 26 nests. Of that total number, 371 eggs was hatched while the other was failed. This year hatching rate is 87.5 percent, higher compared to last year. The hachlings produced this year is 371. All hatchlings produced are released immediately after hatched. So, as of 2017, the total hatchlings of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) released into wild is 1,204. We are expecting this number will boost the wild population of this critically endangered terrapin in the future.

The patrol

Totally, we spent 131 days on the beach to carry out nest patrol. We were walking along the beach, about 3.2 km in length. So, we had to walk along 6.4 km every night, three hours per night and depend on the time of high tide. There was also a time when we had to walk two times every night: 7 pm and 5 am. That was happened when the high tide occurred early night (about 7 pm). Then, the high tide was started again at about 5 am. So, we had two chances that Painted Terrapin females would be emerged to the beach and nesting.

Nesting beach.

We secured 92 eggs of 5 nests on December 2016. On January, 259 eggs of 16 nests. In March, we found and secured 73 eggs of 5 nests. All eggs found were incubated on hatchery was built on the beach. During nest patrol, we were also measured the daily air temperature and humidity, sands (surface and 10 cm under the surface) temperature. The measurement of temperature and humidity was conducted manually four times per day: 4 am, 10 am, 4 pm and 10 pm. The temperature and humidity on the beach is very volatile, therefore by doing this, the average value is more represented. In addition, we found and marked 3 females on the beach. All are new individuals, not marked before.

The causes of declining

If we try to compare the result of this year nest patrol with last year, the total number of eggs and nests found and secured is declining sharply. Last year, our nest patrol was successfully secured 910 eggs of 51 nests. The decreasing is about fifty percent.

There are, at least, three reasons behind this declining. First is beach erosion. The erosion has caused about half of the nesting area lost. The place where we found about half of total nest secured last year, currently is lost.

The second reason is the massive trash on the beach. It produces obstacle for female to reach the higher area on the beach for nesting.

Reasons of declining

Third reason is shrimp traps. Fishermen who met with us said to us that some terrapins die because trapped in this traps. This kind of trap is used by fishermen to catch the shrimp. The traps are laid in riverbed. Banana and coconut are used as bait. Unfortunately, this bait is favorite for terrapin. We always use this bait in our capture-recaptured survey. Fishermen are checking that traps after some hours. Therefore, once the terrapin caught by that traps, it is impossible for them to taking air and breathe. We found two females corpse that become victim of this trap.

Do the hatchlings survive after released?

Of course, the question that lie in our mind is do they survive in wild after released?. This question is also in our mind. Therefore, efforts to get evidence to answer this question have been being conducted in the field and in progress. Although it is confirmed by some accidental sightings that the post-released hatchlings – indicated by mark on marginal carapace – are basking on logs at riverside, thus can be an indicator that they are successfully survive in rivers, but that is not sufficient. More surveys are necessary. This is not only to answer that question, but is also to be a tool for evaluation of our conservation method.

Post-released sub-juvenile of Painted Terrapin

Recent years, the findings of post-released hatchlings basking on logs are common for fishermen. Fishermen who usually ride their boat are common sighting the hathclings on some particular place (riverside). They said that was not common in previous years. In our trip from village to nest patrol camp and vice versa were also successfully observed that hatchlings. Even, we were able to see their mark on marginal carapace, although we could not identify their number precisely.

The latest releasing we did was on 1 December 2016. The sub-juvenile on picture 4 was photographed on 12 March. The location of we photographed that sub-juvenile is about 3 km from releasing site on December 2016. So, perhaps, they are the sub-juvenile was released on December 2016.

This can be a positive sign that the nest patrol and headstarting method is successful to recover sub-juvenile population. For wild adult population, it must be looked at long term, at least four to eight years later.

We would like to thanks to our partner Turtle Survival Alliance, Houston Zoo and Chester Zoo who supporting our works to conserve Painted Terrapin.

You are also able to support our works. If you would like to support us, you can donate to our paypal account through this link: Support Satucita Foundation

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save turtles and terrapins

Let’s save turtles!

Let’s save turtles! The Painted Terrapin Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is sponsoring a fundraising campaign through t-shirt sales at Bonfire.com to support efforts in the wild to save the critically endangered Painted terrapin and other turtle species from extinction. We are supporting the efforts of the Satucita Foundation. The Satucita Foundation helps to save the Painted terrapin in the wild by conducting field research, community outreach, and releasing turtles! Help us help the heroes who are making a difference!

save turtles and terrapins

The Painted Terrapin AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program strives to manage and conserve an endangered ex situ species population with the cooperation of AZA-accredited institutions. SSP Programs develop a Breeding and Transfer Plan that identifies population management goals and recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied population. The Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) is an aquatic estuarine turtle and one of the most endangered river turtles in South East Asia. During the breeding season the head of the males turn white and a red stripe appears between his eyes giving it a ‘painted’ appearance which is how it gets its name. Along side our efforts to manage captive populations we aim to educate and support conservation efforts of the Painted terrapin. After all, the ultimate goal is to see these turtles living in the wild unthreatened and thriving. The Satucita Foundation is a great conservation champion who play an instrumental role of saving these turtles and we hope you can help support their needs.

The Satucita Foundation (Yayasan Satucita Lestari Indonesia) was founded and registered in Minister of Law and Human Rights in 2012. This small and local foundation was founded by conservationist Joko Guntoro. The idea to form the group – that transformed to a foundation – is based on the result of preliminary study on the Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) that was conducted by Joko Guntoro. The study found that the population of this species was threatened by egg poaching, habitat loss, and had disappeared in many locations. Unfortunately, the same threats were also found to other freshwater turtles and tortoises. Therefore, to conserve this species effectively, when there were no organizations that had interest and attention to do it, a special organization must be formed. So, the Satucita was established to overcome the challenges and threats.

The Satucita Foundation’s vision is to “to achieve a harmony between human and nature” with an aim to conserve other reptiles and amphibians, particularly freshwater turtles and tortoises in northern Sumatera, Indonesia. Since it was found, the Foundation is actively working – in situ and ex situ – on Painted Terrapin conservation. To achieve their vision, the following activities are implemented:

1. Field research and monitoring
2. Environmental education and campaign
3. Establish head starting facility as educationand conservation facility
4. Developing local livelihood to support speciesand habitat conservation

By participating in this fundraiser you will be supporting the Satucita Foundation and local turtles. Your donation will be used to help carry out field monitoring and surveying, nesting patrols, field research, increasing awareness, improving their head starting facility and conservation center, and restoring habitat. Thank you for exploring the possibility to support Painted terrapin conservation. Save Turtles with Satucita!

Note from us:

  1. You can participate in this fundraising event by click and visiting this link save turtles!
  2. Please share it to your friend and colleagues if you think that this is worthed!
  3. This campaign is launched by Painted Terrapin Species Survival Plan (SSP). The text source is https://www.bonfire.com/save-turtles-with-satucita/
release painted terrapin 2016

Release Painted Terrapin Hatchlings in Conservation Day

In commemorating of National Conservation Day on 10th August 2016, the Agency for Natural Resources Conservation in Aceh (BKSDA) and Yayasan Satucita Lestari Indonesia released dozens of baby of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) into Tamiang River, the habitat of this critically endangered species. The ceremony was held in village Pusong Kapal, Tuesday (16/8).

Painted Terrapin or called Tuntong Laut in local language is one of the threatened species that population has decreased sharply in last decades. The decreasing of this vertebrate species is caused by poaching. The heavy poaching of adults has massively occurred in 80’s to 90’s, while the poaching of eggs has been practiced by villagers since decades ago. Even, the poaching of eggs seems a tradition and locals have a local cuisine nemed Tengulik that made from egg. This food is like a jam and people eat it with birdlime.

Head of BKSDA Aceh, Genman Suhefti Hasibuan, Shut, MM, said that the importance to raise the public awareness on conservation efforts, the Government has assigned 10 August 10 as National Conservation Day. Therefore, in order to achieve that aim, BKSDA Aceh in cooperation with the Foundation releasing 20 hatchlings of Painted Terrapin into origial habitat.

Indonesia is known as a mega biodiversity place. Thus, that is become a duty and responsibility for us to preserve and utilize the natural resources in sustainable ways. So, the future generation is still have a chance to enjoy it.

According to him, there are various ways to preserve nature and biodiversity, including the natural resources in Aceh Tamiang. Some of them are improving knowledge and awareness on the preservation of plants and wildlife, taking a part to prevent illegal logging, prevent wild plants and animals smuggling, either protected or unprotected.

He said that utilization of plants and rare animals should be in appropriate or sustainable ways according ecological balance and environmental carrying capacity. Further, Minister of Forestry Decree P.57 / Menhut-II / 2008 has set a Strategic Directions on National Species Conservation.

“One of the species that have a very high priority and live in Aceh Tamiang is Painted Terrapin,” he said.

Painted Terrapin is listed in Appendix II CITES (Convention on International Trade ON Endangered Species) . Tuntong sea is endangered and listed in the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

In the same time, a founder and principal researcher of Satucita Foundation, Joko Guntoro, said the hatchlings released is only a some of total hatchlings that resulted from annual nest patrol that conducted from December 2015 To April 2016.

“This release is only symbolic to commemorate the Indonesian Conservation Day. The remaining, 645 hatchlings, will be released in end of ,” Joko said said.

He is also stated the importance of cooperation with and support from villagers and government to save this aquatic species.

“Without the cooperation and support of the community, it can be implemented as of, for example a current support from PT Pertamina Field Rantau to organize this event and genetic study. We are also getting support from Turtle Survival Alliance, Chester Zoo, Houston Zoo for conducted nest patrol, field monitoring, raising the hatchlings.” Joko said.

The ceremony was attended by representative of Pertamina Field Rantau, Forest Management Unit III Langsa, Aceh Tamiang Office of Fisheries and Maritime,  Office of Environmental, Office of Forestry and Plantations,  Navy Post in Seruway, community leaders in Seruway.

Painted Terrapin Released Back Into Habitat

A total of 20 hatchlings of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis), an endangered species, released back on to the original habitat, Tamiang River, District of Aceh Tamiang (12/08/2015). According to the IUCN, Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) is a critically endangered species and listed in Top World’s 25 Most Endangered Turtles at the Global Level. Continue reading “Painted Terrapin Released Back Into Habitat”

Socialization to Strengthen Community Groups to Protect Species and Habitat

Socialization and discussion to conserve Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) and habitat was held in Subdistrict Seruway on 21 October 2015. The socialization and discussion was held to strengthen the knowledge and planning of Satucita Foundation and two community group that established to protect the species. The discussion giving result that the upcoming nesting patrol, habitat rehabilitation will involve community group.

In the opening speech, Head of Subdisctrict Government of Seruway said that the conservation of this species must be supported and would like to thank to Satucita Foundation that facilitate and help locals to preserve this critically endangered species.

Meanwhile, the Head of BKSDA Langsa, Bambang Harsoyo, presented the regulation of protection on animals and plants. He also supports the Aceh Tamiang Local Government to issue a local regulation to protect this species in the district.

Joko Guntoro, program director of Painted Terrapin conservation, presented the status and distribution of this species and some scientific findings and the method to preserve wildlifes, included Painted Terrapin. In addition, the establishment of two community group was aimed to protect the species and habitat. Therefore, he aksed the commitment of the member of these groups for working together to save this species from extinction. The foundation will help and facilitate the locals to do that when the same time develop opportinities to empower villagers, such as a possibility to develop ecotourism.

In the end of discussion, member of community said that they will working together with the foundation to save the species and asked the foundation to facilitate them to protect the species and habitat, included empowerment of ex-hunters that usually take benefits from selling the eggs. The majority of member of community group is hunters that educated by the foundation to form a group to protect the species. It is expected that the groups can be developed as community ranger and take benfits from conservation in the long term.

This event was opened by opening speech by Head of Subdistrict Government of Seruway. The event was attended by 23 participants from two community group, Satucita Foundation, BKSDA Resort Langsa, Subdistrict Government of Seruway. (SF)

Public Hearing to Protect Painted Terrapin in District Aceh Tamiang

Public hearing to protect Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) in District of Aceh Tamiang was held on 15-16 September 2015 in Regent Office. The public hearing was held to seek inputs, comments on the draft of Local Regulation on Protection of Painted Terrapin in Aceh Tamiang.

The meeting was attended by head of villages around of the habitat this critically endangered species, Aceh Tamiang Fisheries Office and another stakeholders. Before the discussion, the Vice Regent present opening talk to all participants. After the opening talk, a Head of Fisheries Office presented the draft and the reason of why this species must be protected in Aceh Tamiang.

Then, Satucita Foundation’s director Joko Guntoro presented scientific findings and what the foundation have done to conserved this species in Aceh Tamiang included nesting patrol, field monitoring, awareness.

As a conclusion, participants supported the draft and hope that the protection must involve local community.

The situation of public hearing:

public hearing on painted terrapin regulation aceh tamiang

public hearing on painted terrapin regulation aceh

public hearing on painted terrapin regulation

 

Field Monitoring of Painted Terrapin

Field monitoring of wild Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) have been carried out from 26 to 30 May. The monitoring was carried out with cooperation with BKSDA Aceh. During that time, 20 traps placed at 20 locations every day. So, totally, 100 point of locations were surveyed during five days. In that survey, nine individuals found. Seven are new captured, two are marked/tagged. Unfortunately, the tag has lost. So, we could not identify and determine the time of last captured of them.

Of nine individuals caught, only two are male. Another are females. So, the females are dominant of total population. Two traps also captured two pair of Painted terrapin in one trap. It was may be indicate that the pair was in mating. Moreover, the males were in sexual dichromatism. Through this monitoring, the distribution of population is can be estimated.

This finding is still compiled and analyzed with previous years survey to estimate the number and structure of wild population. (SF)

Three hatchlings of Painted terrapin Was Born

Three hatchlings of  Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) was born on 15 March 2015. These babies were born from a nest that secured on 3 December 2014. More eggs are expected to hatch in few days forward. The eggs are incubated in styrefoam boxes filled by sand and placed in our headstarting facility.

Hatchling of Painted terrapin that hatched on 15 March.
Hatchling of Painted terrapin that hatched on 15 March.

More than of three hundreds eggs of twenty nest successfully secured bu our nesting patrol activities that conducted during December 2014 to January 2015. The eggs secured from two main nesting beaches in Seruway Subdistrict. We regularly carry out nesting patrol in these beaches every nesting season. (SF)

 

 

Releasing Green Turtle Hatchlings

In the last three months, four sea turtles nests found on the beaches here, the same beaches to Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) for laying eggs. Three nests had been harvested by fishermen before secured. Only one nest successfully secured by a fishermen who cooperated with us. So, we helped him to hatch the the eggs. Continue reading “Releasing Green Turtle Hatchlings”