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”


The Differences Between Turtles Tortoises and Terrapins

What are the differences between turtles, tortoises and terrapins?

The terms ‘turtle,’ ‘tortoise,’ and ‘terrapin’ are often used interchangeably, and depending on which country you are in, may describe a completely different type of ‘turtle.’ Before you get too concerned about the common names, let us take a step back and identify them as belonging to one common order, the Chelonia. If it has a shell and is a reptile, then it is going to fall into the order Chelonia, which includes about 320 different species in the world.

For most Americans, the term ‘turtle’ describes the Chelonians that are aquatic or semi-aquatic. The term ‘tortoise’ describes a Chelonian that lives primarily on land. ‘Terrapin’ can describe some freshwater or saltwater turtles, but is not often used.

If you were in Indonesia, you might call all the sea or marine turtles species as “penyu”, tortoises or “land turtles” species as “kura-kura” and “shoft-shell turles” as “Labi-labi” or “Bulus”, meanwhile “terrapins” species is also called as “Tuntong” in Northern Sumatra culture.

There can be a lot of differences between individual species. For the ease of comparison, we are trying to go out on a limb and make a couple of general assumptions about the difference between turtles and tortoises. In general, tortoises live on land and eat a primarily vegetarian diet, and turtles live in or near the water and eat a meat-based diet or a combination of meat and vegetation.

To take this one step further, turtles are often broken down into aquatic and semi-aquatic species. The aquatic species spend the majority of their lives in or near the water and eat a diet that is mostly meat based. Semi-aquatic turtles spend a greater period of time on land, but periodically enter the water. Semi-aquatic turtles tend to eat both plants and animals. An example of a semi-aquatic turtle is the well-known American Box Turtle. While there are several subspecies differences, this turtle tends to spend most of its time on land, but enters very shallow water several times a week to defecate. The young turtles are primarily meat eaters, but as they get older, they eat a primarily vegetarian diet.

Eleven Critically Endangered Species Painted Terrapin Released to Habitat

Eleven hatchlings of critically endangered freshwater turtle species Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) was released to its original habitat on 13 January 2015. The hatchlings are a result of our nesting patrol carried out in December 2013 to January 2014. In that nesting patrol, the eggs were secured from illegal harvesting. After secured, the eggs incubated in styrefoam boxes filled by sands.

The stakeholders releasing babies of Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis).
The stakeholders releasing babies of Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) (01/13)

Totally, since our preliminary study on 2010, 140 hatchlings have released into wild, their original habitat – estuaries, rivers. Fifty nine hatchlings were released on 2011, seventy seven on 2013 and eleven on 2015. The initiative is continuously develop the program to release more hatchlings this year and future, to recover wild population of this critically endangered species. To achieve this objective, annual nesting patrol, incubation, raising (headstarting), public campaign, field monitoring and researches, habitat reforestation are developed and implemented continuously.

Some organizations have supported our programs since this initiative launched. Thank you for following organizations: Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Chester Zoo Conservation Grant, PT Pertamina EP Rantau, Turtle Conservation Alliance.

Releasing Painted Terrapin

Kuala Simpang (Satucita),

Three Painted terrapin (Batagur borneonsis, formerly known as callagur borneonsis) released to their habitat after captured by local fishermen. Releasing carried out in Sungai Iyu Subdistrict, Aceh Tamiang Regency, on 9th of August 2009.

Before released, a team from SatuCita consist of Joko Guntoro and Udin taken some basic characteristic from that terrapin: measure their carapace, weighing. The length of their carapace between 48 cm – 57 cm and the weight between 16,3 kg – 22,7 kg. These three female Painted terrapin has important for nesting and sustainability of this species.

In the short discussion between team and fishermen who captured the species, Sanusi, 51 years old, said that this accidently. By information given by his friend, he contacted SatuCita to inform this capture. When Joko Guntoro and Udin came to village to see the species and releasing them, Sanusi asked Rp 200.000 for one Painted terrapin. After short discussion, in order to releasing Painted terrapin to lives freely in wildlife, Joko agree to pay Rp 600.000 for three Painted terrapin and give information to Sanusi and his friend who attended that actually the problem is not about the money, but Painted terrapin must be conserved because they playing a role to make estuaries and river ecosystem healty. So, painted terrapin also important for fishermen’s lifes.

In that time, Sanusi also said that many Painted terrapin lives in the river and nesting in beaches around village, although he can not make estimation how many the population.