28 February 2013

Bali - the turtles from Perancak

Severe abrasion along beaches in Jembrana has posed threats to a turtle breeding center on its coast.

According to government data, at least eight kilometers of the 60-kilometer coastline had been affected by the erosion. Villagers carrying out the turtle conservation program urged local authorities to handle the eroded area because it significantly affected turtle survival. In Perancak, a local people grouped together as Kurma Asih have been actively conserving turtles since 1997. They save turtles that come ashore, protect the eggs by keeping them in a safer area and release the baby turtles back into the sea.

There are currently 249 turtle nests in Jembrana threatened by the worsening abrasion, but nothing has been done by the authorities. The nests are predominantly on Perancak Beach. There are also turtle habitats in Pengambengan, Delod Berawah and Candi Kuning, as well as other locations. The spawning season, from April to September, would reflect how severely the abrasion had affected the turtle habitat. The peak of the spawning season usually falls around May to July.

The public participate in the conservation by adopting the nests. Relocating the eggs should be carried out around four to six hours after they are laid, in order to provide the eggs with a bigger chance to hatch. Perancak is an important site for turtle conservation in Bali as many turtles lay eggs on the beach. The turtles are usually green turtles, hawksbill turtles, olive ridley turtles and leatherback turtles. The olive ridley turtles are the most dominant species there.

According to data from ProFauna Bali, 252 turtles came ashore at Perancak and there were 17,054 baby turtles released into the sea during 2011. In 2012, there were 200 nests, each with 50 to 100 eggs. So far, Perancak has the highest number of turtle nests in Bali. Since 2012, ProFauna Indonesia has helped Kurma Asih group with turtle conservation through educational and awareness raising activities. In Perancak, many local people still take the eggs for trade or consumption, although it is illegal. ProFauna invites the public to support the group’s activities by donating money in their donation boxes, as well as avoiding consuming the meat and buying any souvenirs made of the animal’s body parts.

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