We are also working with Reef Check Malaysia to monitor for any coral reef bleaching that occurs. Together we are doing this, with others, by weekly monitoring a few test areas around Tioman. We are monitoring locations on this East Coast. No significant bleaching has occurred yet, but this survey is important to provide a base line for reference if there are any bleaching events in the future.
We were called by the Bagus Place resort manager to come and attend to a sick young Hawksbill turtle that was found floating near their jetty. The turtle was actually first spotted by some guest who had previously been volunteers here at JTP.
The turtle was floating with a large amount of algae on it, meaning it had been inactive for some time already, often in these cases there is a buoyancy issue with the turtle so they cannot dive for food, and become fatigued and starved.
We referred to turtle care manuals, and to the Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia’s Prof Eng Chan, and Ms Pelf for advice. After feeding the turtle with a squid smoothie and re-hydrating water for almost a week and seeing no improvement in health, we checked again with TCS about the best next step. We decided it best to release the poor turtle back into deep water about 2k from the shore, where if it survives it will be properly located in the off-shore currents.
Thanks to Becca, a recent volunteer, we can provide you with these great info-graphics depicting some of the most relevant turtle information from the area!
( Also if you come and volunteer soon, you can also thank Becca for the little cat Yoda / Yogurt / Little One / Dirt Face or whatever her newest name is 🙂
*Click pic for bigger*
Flash cameras can scare the nesting mother turtles very easily, and the turtle nesting almost always occurs at night-time here so it is always a challenge to get a good photo of the turtle magic happening on the dark beach! We often try using red colored lights to illuminate the turtles for a photo but it doesnt work all that well.
Red light has a long wavelength which makes it almost invisible to sea turtles as their eyes are accustomed to under water light which contains very little to no red light content. To quote wikipedia: (wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared ) “Infrared (IR) is invisible radiant energy, electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than those of visible light, extending from the nominal red edge of the visible spectrum at 700 nanometers.”
Meaning Infrared light is even more invisible to turtles (and to people). So we have been donated an IR motion camera, usually used for photo-trapping animals, and here are the results from a couple of the resent nestings on the local beach here in Juara!
* Please Note* The flash from this camera is totally invisible which is the only reason we are able to use it without disturbing the turtle. Also we are in close proximity/ handling the turtle only because we are experienced in the how and when to do it without disturbing the turtle! Aka.. please don’t try this at home thank you!