Public awareness important towards turtle conservation efforts in Port Dickson

by BERNAMA

PORT DICKSON – Raising public awareness on the importance of conserving and protecting hawksbill and green turtles is crucial to ensure that the two endangered species do not go extinct.

As visitors are expected to throng Port Dickson this weekened following the government’s decision to lift the interstate travel ban, it is important for the public to always keep the beach clean and put a stop to littering because plastic waste can pose a threat to these marine reptiles.

Part-time supervisor at a turtle conservation and hatchery centre, here, Hishamudin Abdul Manap said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were able to save about 800 turtle eggs a year.

“This year, I managed to find 48 turtle eggs after 46 baby hawksbill turtles were rescued by members of the public, recently,” he said after carrying out the process of burying hawksbill turtle eggs in the sand for incubation at Glory Beach Resort, here.

Hishamudin, 50, reminded the public to immediately report any turtle findings to Negeri Sembilan Fisheries Department (JPNS) for further action.

He said that this was because it would be best if baby turtles are released into the sea at night between 8 pm and midnight to prevent the animals from being eaten by predators such as crows, eagles and monitor lizards.

During the session, visitors were given the explanation on the right technique of burying turtle eggs in the sand, how to identify the type of turtle eggs and the hatching period of baby turtles.

“A 25-year-old female turtle will lay about 100 eggs, four times a year (per season) and the eggs incubate for 55 to 60 days before hatching,” he said.

More interestingly, visitors at Glory Beach Resort will also have a chance to meet ‘Remy Ishak’, ‘Aaron Aziz’ and ‘Maya Karin’, aged five, four and three, respectively, the three green turtles at the hatchery centre.

Meanwhile, JPNS in a post on its official Facebook page said that the turtle management and conservation cooperation with Glory Beach Resort have been established since 2013.

JPNS has given its conditional permission to the resort management to carry out turtle conservation including exhibitions, ownership of live turtles and turtle egg hatcheries.

The setting up the hatchery centre can also help create public awareness on the importance of conserving these endangered reptiles.