UMTMOOC – Research & Management of Sea Turtle for Conservation
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UMTMOOC – Research & Management of Sea Turtle for Conservation

October 2, 2019

Salam Sejahtera and a Very Good Day This will be your last topic for this course. In this topic, you will learn about:
Tagging and monitoring of sea turtles Overview of sea turtles conservation in Malaysia
And finally, the Sea turtle research, conservation and outreach programme conducted by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu In one of the earliest attempts to understand sea turtle life history, researchers applied metal tags to the flippers of nesting females. Tagging studies were highly successful and subsequently became a standard technique for sea turtle research.Sea turtles are tagged to achieve the recognition of individuals for research purposes. Tagging is conducted to obtain information on reproductive biology for example how often and how accurately a female returns to her nesting beach, how often and how many eggs she lays in a season, migration and geographical ranges, growth rate, location of the foraging grounds, stranding and incidental capture. There are two types of tags used in sea turtles, which is the External and Internal Tags. External tags used in sea turtles are made of plastic or metal. Of these two, the most commonly used are the metal tags made of pure titanium or blends of metals known as alloys that have enhanced physical characteristics (such as Monel and Inconel tags) Metal tags require a special applicator for proper attachment.Titanium and Inconel tags are recommended to be used in sea turtle tagging because of its resistance to corrosion in sea water. in sea turtle taking because of its
resistant to corrosion in sea water Normally, for hard -shelled turtles, tags will be applied at the trailing edge of each front flipper (at the first three scale closest to the body of the turtle). Double-tagging – is recommended. For the internal tags, the Passive integrated transponder (or known as PIT) tags are used. It is a small inert microprocessors sealed in glass that can transmit a unique ID to a hand-held reader. PIT tags are normally inserted into the shoulder muscle of sea turtles or under the scale or between the digits of a front/hind flipper. This is a new innovation in sea turtle research. However, it is very costly. The length of time the tag stay on the turtle is very important. Hence, in every tagging program the tag loss must be minimized to ensure recognition of individual turtle. To increase the likelihood that a turtle will retain her unique identification over several years. Apart from tagging, the sea turtles will also be measured. Carapace measurements can be used: To monitor the size of nesting females To determine the size frequency for juvenile, subadult and adult sea turtles To relate the body size to the nesting female’s reproductive output And finally, to determine the growth rate of sea turtles. Two types of measurements will be taken using a measuring tape, which is the curved carapace length and the curved carapace width. If caliper is used, the measurements will be called straight carapace length and straight carapace width. Malaysia has a long history of conserving sea turtles, dating back to the 1950’s. Even so, the number of sea turtles had decline drastically. In the early years, the government had little success with turtle conservation, and turtle habitats as these are not high on their list of priorities. Poor management practices and incomplete knowledge of the turtle’s biology and ecology in this area have also lead to the decline of sea turtles in Malaysia. However, the last 20 years or so have witnessed an increase in scientific knowledge on sea turtle in Malaysia. The current conservation measure of sea turtles and their eggs at nesting beaches in Malaysia has resulted in high hatchling output. Some populations are showing signs of recovery as more awareness, protection and conservation efforts were implemented. Sea turtle conservation in Peninsular Malaysia is conducted by the Department of Fisheries, in Sarawak by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation and in Sabah by the Sabah Parks and Sabah Wildlife Department. In Malaysia, all sea turtle eggs are transferred to a protected hatchery to avoid eggs from being stolen. Only at Chagar Hutang and Mak Kepit beach at Redang Island, Terengganu conduct in-situ egg incubation. mcafee beach at freedom Island regano
conduct in situ egg incubation. The conservation effort in Peninsular Malaysia had shown positive results especially for the green turtle populations. However other species of sea turtles are still decreasing. Sadly the leatherback turtle is now considered extinct in Peninsular Malaysia. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) through its Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) had started the sea turtle research in 1984, when the first research on the leatherback turtles at Rantau Abang was initiated. Then in May 1993, the long-term sea turtle conservation at Chagar Hutang, Redang Island was initiated to save the declining populations of green and hawksbill turtles. At the early years, it was very difficult for UMT to run the sea turtle conservation projects as high amount of money were needed to buy eggs for incubation. At that time, funds to run the conservation program were obtained through donations from Berjaya Group, Terengganu State Government, UDA Holdings and the public. In recent years, sea turtle research in UMT has developed into a multi-disciplinary program aimed at studying all aspects of the biology and ecology of sea turtles, threats to their survival and how they can be managed in order to restore the various species to a stable population level. Two types of research conducted by the Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU), UMT: Long-term tagging, monitoring of nesting sea turtles and in-situ egg incubation at Chagar Hutang research on the biology ecology threads
and restorations of sea turtles. This is the main research conducted by SEATRU. It was initiated since 1993, aimed to collect biological data, to monitor and protect the population of sea turtles at Redang Island and to protect eggs under incubation at Chagar Hutang beach from poachers and other predators, as well as to increase the hatch success of hatchlings. Since the initiation of the project (1993 – 2015): a total 10,380 sea turtle nests have been protected through the in-situ program. and more than 700,000 hatchlings were released to the ocean In 2001, the conservation efforts at Chagar Hutang had been recognised by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) years of conservation effort the sea
turtle populations had increased in Redang Island. Long term protection is tedious, but maintaining high hatchlings output is shown to be an effective and essential conservation strategy. Conservation must be sustained for a long time, and for this it is important to have enough funding and field assistants. The second type of research conducted by UMT is the Research on the biology, ecology threats and restoration of sea
turtles the research includes. Studies on temperature-dependent sex dependent photo identification by your logging
research genetics studies research on sea turtles
at foraging grounds to support the long-term sea turtle research and
conservation at reading Island see true had come up with an outreach program
called stop which is save our turtles outreach program the main objectives of
stop is to create public awareness and to fund the long-term conservation of
sea turtles at reading Island stop comprised of three programs sea turtle
volunteer adopt a turtle nest and finally total cams awareness program
talks and exhibitions volunteer program adopt a turtle nests program turtle cams awareness program day visit to chaha
Hooten will see total days celebration marine awareness program at laguna
redang island resort hatchling release program at laguna
redang island resort talks and exhibitions come and join our
volunteer program at chugger Hooton and learn more about sea turtles at the
natural habitat this is a video about this program and joy I hope that at the end of this course, you will understand and appreciate the importance of conservation and protection of sea turtles. Why wait, come and join our Volunteer Program and enjoy the hands-on experience of sea turtle conservation and research conducted by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. See you at chagar Hutang! Thank you.

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