Turtle Times @ Batu Batu

Simon & Alex from our Conservation Team update on the turtle season here at Batu Batu.

March really started with a bang, the 1st of the month produced the first Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) tracks found by one of our gardeners Burdi on one of the islands beaches, this set of tracks was early and it was hoped for more tracks to come later on within the month. (See Image below)

Turtle Tracks 1

The wait wasn’t long with a second set of Green Turtle tracks discovered by Francine from the Restaurant and identified by Christine from Front Desk on the morning of the 4th on a different beach (see image below) and then a 3rd set of tracks was discovered on the 08th.

Turtle Tracks 2

Turtle Tracks 3

Image above shows the 3rd set of tracks discovered by Simon on the island on the morning of the 08th. Note the foot and tail tracks running through the centre of the green turtle tracks, which lead to the nest chamber.

Sadly, There was also signs of attempted predation at the nest with another hole dug in to the nest chamber, luckily the eggs appeared to remain untouched and safe. Another survey, undertaken at night showed that a second attempt of predation at the nest had been successful with some of the eggs broken and damaged.  Sadly, this is nature and we are regularly liaising with a our friends at the Juara Turtle Sanctuary, Juara , Tioman island with our findings. The survey Team at Juara have managed to find 2 Green Turtle nests this month of which one they have lost a due to predation, also, from a monitor lizard.

A decision was made to leave the eggs in situ but to make a temporary protection of the nest. Which still remains in place at the time of this blog post.

At present it is believed that the turtle tracks discovered this month involve two different female Green Turtles, each one having their own preferred beach. Obviously we cannot name the beaches here on the blog as we wish to protect the eggs from poachers but if you are visiting Batu Batu any time soon please see us, the Conservation Team, at the Dive & Activities Centre where we will be more than happy to talk to you and provide you updates of the turtle nesting season and anything else that is taking place on the island at the time of your visit.

So we hope for a few more turtle tracks to be found on the island and wish our friends at the Juara Turtle Sanctuary good luck with their own turtle-nesting season.  We are planning on producing reports at the end of the year comparing and combining data from both the Batu Batu Conservation Team and the Juara Team.

And as we bring this blog post to a close, the morning of the 12th provided the calmest sea conditions so far this year with the visibility improving dramatically enabling a small Turtle to be seen briefly from the jetty as it swam close by with another 2 green turtles seen surfacing from the end of the jetty.

Both Simon and Alex are out conducting surveys of the beaches at night in the hope of finding turtles coming ashore at night.

More on the Juara Turtle Sanctuary here: http://www.juaraturtleproject.com/test/