Bintan Turtle

My photo
Lagoi, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia
The turtle conservation initiative in Bintan Resorts started in 2004. There are only 1 or 2 nests a month found in the nesting season whereas in 1950's fishermen found 1 to 2 nests a night. The nesting season is from March to September. To date, more than 4000 turtle hatchlings released to the sea. What do we do? Save the turtle eggs, incubate the eggs in hatchery, release the hatchlings together with tourists, volunteers and villagers and give awareness to villagers and students from local schools in surrounding area. By saving them, there’s a hoping to see them more in the future

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A Hand-Guide

Tomorrow.....we will have our first turtle release...
What are the questions, most of tourists are asking about?

Be prepared,, they may ask you :)

Below are the Frequently Asked Questions
(compiled by brc-rde team)

How do you find turtle eggs?

We conduct morning survey at 5 o'clock- along the potential beach in nesting season helped by a number of volunteers.

Why don't you wait until these hatchlings grow bigger and stronger?
Based on recent study in Maldives, turtle that have kept inside the captivity cage for a year will loose their instincts as turtle. Their satellite data shows that those turtles could not reach their foraging area after released.

Is it ok to touch them? Can I hold the hatchlings?

They will be stressed if touched by many hands. The best is just to observe them from a good distance that will minimize their stress.

Where is the mother turtle?
Mother turtle lives in the ocean and it crawl on shore to lay eggs. After burry eggs in a save place, they return to the sea. Hatchlings will crawl down to the sea by themselves. They are gifted by the incredible navigation system and the instinct to know how to swim and where to go.

(to be continued)

Monday, 29 June 2009

A Volunteer Experience

(admin : below is a nice note from one of our volunteer, Yetty Lutiyan. What about your own experience? Feel free to drop a note)

Finding Nemo's Friends

Yetty wrote on her on 20-7-07.
Remember the one who can live in the ocean until 150 years and know how to chill and go with the flow? Yep, the sea turtles!
Pssst...actually they can live until 80 years in the real ocean. But its still a long time to survive, right? They spend their whole life in the ocean and only go to the beach to lay their eggs, but they face a loooot of threats in both environment.

Poor sea turtles.. Sea pollution destructs the coral reef which is their habitat and food resources. People capture them for the meat and souvenirs , and there are also a lot of predators in the sea especially for the juveniles as well as for the eggs on the nesting beaches. People harvest their eggs.

One of my friend said “Hmm…I wonder how delicious the eggs are and what they are thinking when they eat those eggs… I wonder why?????, but once my dad said the eggs were very delicious”


Well, I have joined with some conservation rangers for the sea turtle conservation in the north part of Bintan island for a year. We walk along the beaches to find the turtle nests. Then the eggs that we find will be removed to the hatchery. This hatchery is designed to protect the eggs from the predators include human of course, until the hatchling time comes and the tukik (the juveniles) are ready to be released to the sea.

This time in this survey, only few old nests without eggs inside are found by the the rangers. It can be already hatchled, eaten by predators, or taken by people. Btw, the turtle nests can be found at the end of the turtle tracks/imprints that we see on the beach, except for old nests. Usually the imprints of the old nests have already gone.

Historically, there were 3 species of sea turtle nesting in Bintan beaches, but now there are only hawksbill turtles (penyu sisik) found in this island. Where did the 2 species go? Have they already vanished? I dont know...but it seems that their population has reduced much.

So please people, do not pollute the seas, do not consume turtle meats and eggs,
do not buy souvenirs made from turtle bodies. Save the sea turtles.

Again, did you know?

1. The Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest, deepest diving, and most migratory, wide ranging of all sea turtles, weighing as much as 2,000 pounds.

2. "Sea turtles are the last of our world's ancient reptiles, and have existed for more than 200 million years, even when dinosaurs still roamed the earth".

3. Five out of seven of the world's sea turtle species (all listed as endangered, threatened or vulnerable by international treaty and the U.S. government) inhabit the nutrient-rich waters that surround the Baja California peninsula.

4. Each year, throughout the Baja California Peninsula, it is estimated that 35,000 sea turtles are illegally hunted and killed.

5. While several million green sea turtles once existed worldwide, today, it is estimated that fewer than 200,000 nesting females remain.

Did you know......

Cara membedakan spesies penyu bisa dilihat dari jejak yg ditinggalkan nya di pasir....
What kind of path or track have you seen?

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Bersorak riang ketika menemukannya. Menetes haru ketika melepasnya. Ingin merasakan pengalaman itu? Bergabunglah bersama relawan 'penyelamatan penyu'.

Tahukah anda? Hanya 1 dari 100 telur yang dapat bertahan hidup di alam bebas

Selamatkan mereka dari kepunahan.

Our Internal Publication 0n 2006

(click on picture, for better view)

Preliminary Study on Sea Turtles in Bintan Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia

Marine Turtle Newsletter 119:13-14, © 2008

Marine Turtle Newsletter-Online

C.K. Winata, A. Nadina & M. Rofik
Research and Development Dept., Environmental & Health Division

Six out of seven species of sea turtles in the world live in Indonesia. All of them are under the Indonesian law protection (Act. no. 5 1990 re Conservation of Nature Resource and its Ecosystem; Government Regulation no. 7 1990 re Conservation Species of Flora & Fauna) and are protected by international trade by CITES (Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species). According to local people in Bintan, one could easily find 2 nests each evening in the nesting season of 1950s. However, in recent years only few nests have been observed on the beaches. To better characterize the population, we initiated a survey along Bintan Resorts coastline with two objectives: the identification of potential nesting beaches and nesting season in Bintan Resorts; and the identification of threats at nesting sites.

Bintan is the largest island among many in the Province of Riau Archipelago, located just south of Singapore. Bintan Resorts is located at the northern part (01.17° to 01.20° N and 104.30° to 104.58° E) and comprises 23,000 hectares of area, of which 3,000 hectares have already been developed. Within the resorts, there are more than 50 kilometers of white sandy beach (Figure 1). Between 2004 and 2006, we conducted ground surveys along beaches within Bintan Resorts at least once every two weeks. Between March and October, the frequency of patrols increased to 2-3 times a week on Pasir Panjang beach (01.1833°N, 104.1942°E; site 4 in Figure 1). All turtle tracks, nests, eggs, and egg shells were recorded, following Schroeder & Murphy (1999). In some cases, we relocated freshly laid nests to 3x5 m hatchery enclosures on more protected areas of beaches, for safe incubation.

Figure 1. Map of Bintan Island, with four nesting areas identified within the Bintan Resorts Area (map source: Bintan Resorts website. used with permission).

Within the Bintan Resort, we identified four nesting beaches where both hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) laid nests (Figure 1). Hawksbill turtles were the most common species nesting on the four beaches, with most nesting activities occurring between March and September (Figure 2). No nests were observed between November and February, which coincides with the monsoon season in Bintan. The phenology of sea turtle nesting in Bintan is similar to that reported for nearby Tembelan Island (February to May) and Johor, Malaysia (March to August) (Ali et al. 2004). Although the survey design did not allow us to fully monitor all nesting activities, it appeared that nesting density was greatest on Pasir Panjang beach.

Figure 2. Number of turtle tracks counted per month at the four nesting sites being monitored within Bintan Resorts, on Bintan Island, Indonesia.

When we began our monitoring project in 2004, we found that >90% of observed nests had been collected by local people for consumption. Given the anthropogenic pressures on sea turtle nests in the area and the logistical challenge of trying to monitor widely dispersed beaches, starting in 2005 we used hatcheries to protect some incubating eggs. In 2005, there were 550 hawksbill hatchlings produced from 5 nests in the hatchery (85% successful hatching rate) that we released to the ocean. In 2006, 1224 hawksbill hatchlings were produced in the hatchery (80% hatching rate) and released to the ocean. We invited tourists and local villagers to the hatchling releases to learn more about sea turtles and conservation. In addition, we disseminated information materials about sea turtle biology and conservation, though direct conversations and the distribution of calendars, leaflets and comic books. We noted that the percentage of turtle nests collected by locals declined to 61% in 2005 and decreased further to 33% in 2006.

We have been encouraged by our efforts that we can not only protect sea turtle nests on Bintan but also raise awareness of sea turtle conservation in local villages. We anticipate that we will be able to more actively engage local people in our project, thereby increasing its effectiveness.


Acknowledgements: We thank to Professor C.H. Diong for supervising and sharing valuable advice. Our sincere thanks to Douglas Hykle, M. Halim and W. Andyana for their inputs, Alang-alang Sea Sport Centre who helped in logistics and in checking turtle tracks, Ranan Samanya for supervising our projects. This study would not be possible without a PT. Bintan Resort Cakrawala grant.

ALI, A., Z. TALIB, M.M. ISA, S.A. RAZAK & N.A. ZAKARIA. 2004. A Guide to set up and manage sea turtles hatcheries in the Southeast Asian region. Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department - Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre. 60pp.

SCHROEDER, B. & S. MURPHY. 1999. Population surveys (ground and aerial) on nesting beaches. In: K. L. Eckert, K.A. Bjorndal, F.A. Abreu-Grobois & M. Donnelly (Eds) Research and Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles. IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group Publication No. 4, pp. 45-55.

Our Sea Turtle Conservation Program

Indonesian Resort Helps to Spread Conservation Message

7 Jul 2006

Indonesian resort located close to the thriving metropolis of Singapore is trying to do its part for marine turtle conservation, as the reported by the resort's senior manager for environment and health.

This week, PT. Bintan Resort Cakrawala together with Nirwana Gardens Resort released 81 turtle hatchlings to the sea. The release of the hawksbill hatchlings was part of two-year old programme of the resort's Environmental and Health Division, which is attempting to bring back the old glorious days of turtles in the '50s along the northern coastline of Bintan Island.

Understanding that these turtles are an endangered species, an initiative was started to try to restore the turtle population to at least double from what Bintan has today. Backed by Bintan Resorts' vision on environmental protection and management, the project was supported all the way to the top management. It is also hoped that this initiative can, at a later stage, be added to its ecotourism activities.

In 2005, 550 hatchlings were successfully released. This year to date, 296 hatchlings were already released to the sea from a total of 1,127 collected so far. The hatching success rate has varied between 70 - 90%, depending on several environmental factors.

Said Vice President Director B.G. Chin Chow Yoon: "This initiative is a proof that our concern and commitment to environmental protection is not limited to mitigation environmental controls, such as STPs and solid waste management."

While it is still early to describe it as a success, the programme definitely has shown a high potential for raising public awareness, and has also shown that resorts can also contribute to the protection of endangered species.

Source: RS on