River Terrapin (Batagur affinis)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12255144
In 2010, Project Investigators discovered the presence of a River Terrapin (Batagur affnis) population in the Kemaman River in Terengganu, Malaysia. This population had never been documented elsewhere, and needless to say, no conservation efforts were being undertaken to protect the species and their eggs from human consumption. Project Investigators identified and convinced two village committees to cooperate with TCS in the new River Terrapin Conservation Project.
In 2013, a total of 486 River Terrapin eggs were collected from two villages for incubation. These eggs, if left in the nesting bank by the river, would either be dug up by monitor lizards or taken by other villagers. From these eggs, 380 terrapin hatchlings were produced, headstarted and released into the Kemaman River. Despite the low number of eggs gathered this year, an overall hatching success was recorded at 78%.
This was the second season in which the local villagers were trained and directly involved in the conservation of the critically endangered River Terrapins. The villagers had demonstrated their dedication, responsibility and commitment towards the project, and one Local Village Committee had also expressed their interest to take up the the project independently. This is a very big step towards empowering the local communities to become stewards of their own environment and natural resources.
*Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) is a young Society that aims to bring about the recovery of depleted wild populations of turtles, particularly freshwater turtles, in Malaysia through partnerships with like-minded organizations, individuals and local communities. For more information, please visit www.turtleconservationsociety.org.my or find us on Facebook.
Project 12255144 location - Malaysia, Asia