As monsoon starts to roll in, only a few nests still remain unhatched and the nesting season has ended by a month already.
Total nesting for this year was 73, from all beaches and species combines; compared to 44 nests in 2012.
We are still open for volunteering guests, however the work is less and won’t include working with any nesting turtles until next season starting around March or April. We can still use help with visitor awareness, taking care of resident turtle JO, working on the buildings pictured below, any projects that you may have in mind, and other odd jobs around the place.
The nest sponsorship program here has been doing exponentially better. All nests have sponsors now and we are even taking pre-bookings for sponsoring nests. Even when the sponsors are told that we may not get more nests.. they have still been interested to sponsor anyway. If necessary, we are planning to tribute the last nest to all the remaining sponsors at the end of the season.
Again, this program is great because it will hopefully show a direct source of income to residents, deriving from the sea turtles but not damaging to their species survival.
This year the sponsorship amount has been rm200, next year we may brave raising it to actually compete with the black market cost of about rm3-4 per egg, thus really showing a financial advantage for protecting eggs over selling them for consumption.
This baby was released just the other day. Our intentions, after finding it buried and weak inside a already hatched nest, were to see if it could get stronger before its release. Unfortunately it did not get any stronger or better at swimming. So we released it anyway recently when Charlie, Alex and Angie went around the Tioman Island doing a nest survey.
On our way to Coral Island ( Pulau Tulai ) we let it go where we know there is a strong current. We did this because at this point in its life (2 months) it would naturally already be at the ‘floating in currents’ stage.
There is availability for volunteering starting in the second half of August. Let us know if you are interested.. Thank you
For a few months we have been setting up new survey areas with Reef Check Malaysia (linked here) . They have trained us to their methods and now we can perform surveys here, and have the data sent to them for international comparisons.
Scuba diving on Tioman has been popular for a long time, but now is a good chance to help develop documentation of what is here, as there is a definite decrease of marine life occurring, most noticeably (besides Turtles…) are fish populations. We will be offering the opportunity for involvement in these studies and surveys, after this preliminary groundwork is done.
This survey dive trip was done with Charlie, Ali B, and Richard from Swiss Cottage in Tekek, our other team member Simon was out sick unfortunately. Currently the surveys are being done on the East coast of Tioman, where as Reef Check themselves are conducting surveys on the busier West coast.
For us, this is another step towards the research and conservation of Tioman, and heavy eco-tourism concepts of enjoying nature the way it is and giving back to its well being.
When you dive at Tioman please do your research first and dive with environmental friendly and responsible operators!
We dive with Tioman Dive Centre (website here) or TDC who are at Swiss Cottage in Tekek. They give us a great deal for the gear we use for survey work, and we know that diving with them on Tioman means enjoyment and sustainable.
There are more nesting turtles than last year, so far we have received as many nests as last year already. This is great, but you must remember it is unfortunately not the result of any new regulations put in place, or better beach protection, or better marine enforcement.. that is still to come. We are just glad to know that there are some turtles still out there, and we are protecting their babies in hope of a better/ more survivable, world for them in the future.
Some interns have arrived from Malaysian University UMT and will be here on placement for two months, then another shift arrives.
Our booking is quite full for July and August but if know what dates you are interested to come you can still ask, maybe you can fit in or we can let you know when is available.
Lots of nest sponsorship’s, this is a great program where we are trying to show a positive income by people ‘paying’ for the nests to be protected, instead of people paying for the eggs to be sold/ eaten. Hopefully the idea can pass on in the future (if) after we are gone.
Thanks to the young ladies from UWCSEA who came her for their project week trip. They left us with an important new information signboard, and helped while here on all sort of activities and projects. Also joining up with Little Planet for some sea kayak training.
In answer to one of our unfortunately commonly asked questions…
the general sea turtle life cycle…
and why its important not to keep any baby turtles around…
And they cleverly brought us a stuffed tiger, which we can actually use in the banana trees to scare away monkeys!