Searching for hatchlings on Chagar Hutang

In a previous blog, I wrote about the turtle eggs that are sold on the market ‘Pasar Payang’ in Kuala Terengganu. Today we were allowed to see the other side on Redang. By boat, we sailed to the north, Chagar Hutang, where turtles are born in peace and quiet.

Permission

Before we arrived here I had contact with a researcher from the sea turtle conservation, called Chagar Hutang. I thought it would be fun and interesting to visit this uninhabited part of the island and learn more about the turtles. Normally no tourists are allowed here, but we were given permission to come and see the turtles for a morning.

Coral

As I wrote earlier, there are no roads on Redang. Everything goes by boat. Through our hotel ‘Sari Pacifica’ a boat could be arranged that would take us to Chagar Hutang and pick us up again. For a few weeks, this hotel arranges boat trips to Chagar Hutang on every Sunday for RM150 per person. At nine o’clock in the morning, we arrived at the beach. A beautiful white beach with even more blue and clear water than we have seen around the hotel. The closer we got to the beach, the more coral we saw appear below us.

Ocean

When the nest is dug out, there is sometimes still a hatchling in it. We were there and that was amazing to see. The volunteers are lying on the ground digging out the nest. At nine am in the morning, it’s already hot! When they find a hatchling, it goes into a box. The turtle isn’t yet released to swim in the ocean. During the day this is too dangerous and it reduces the chance of survival considerably. The hatchlings are very busy and their instincts tell them to move. This is partly because of the sunlight. At night, the moon gives enough light for them to know where the ocean is. The hatchlings are placed in a cool dark place so that they can calm down and save their strength for when the evening comes.

Plastic

We’ve learned a lot about the sea turtle and especially the hatchlings. It was very interesting to visit this beach and see what kind of research is currently ongoing. On the other hand, we learned about the treats for the turtles and sea life in particular. It’s terrible to hear how many hatchlings die because of the amount of plastic in their belly. If we all reduce our plastic use, don’t use straws anymore but take our own metal straws to restaurants, the sea life will remain as it is. There is a long way to go but if we all do this together we can keep enjoying the ocean and all the beautiful things in it. We were really impressed by the work the researches and volunteers have done and are still doing! Soon my vlog will be online with pictures of the beach, the nests and of course the hatchlings!

No network

Once arrived ashore, the American Nick already came to great us. He is a researcher at Chagar Hutang and he took us under his wing. Nick showed us the stay of the researchers and volunteers. These are two wooden huts where they eat and sleep. What you should also remember is that there is no network in this area. No one has contact with the outside world. Lovely quiet!

Hatchlings

The research institute SEATRU works at Chagur Hutang. Here they do research on the sea turtle and mainly on hatchlings, baby turtles. For example, is there a trend in the number of females born? (The higher the temperature, the more females) How do the hatchlings move to the ocean, at what speed does this happen? How many eggs actually hatch and how many carry a disease?

Eggs

Every night the volunteers work in shifts and record how many turtles come ashore to dig their nests and how long it takes them to do so. Then each nest is marked with a stick. This indicates on which date the female has come to the beach. The eggs hatch between 45 and 60 days, so the researchers know when the hatchlings should be born and they keep track of this. When a nest hatches at night, the next morning the nest is checked to see if all eggs have hatched.

Searching for hatchlings on Chagar Hutang

In a previous blog, I wrote about the turtle eggs that are sold on the market ‘Pasar Payang’ in Kuala Terengganu. Today we were allowed to see the other side on Redang. By boat, we sailed to the north, Chagar Hutang, where turtles are born in peace and quiet.

Permission

Before we arrived here I had contact with a researcher from the sea turtle conservation, called Chagar Hutang. I thought it would be fun and interesting to visit this uninhabited part of the island and learn more about the turtles. Normally no tourists are allowed here, but we were given permission to come and see the turtles for a morning.

Coral

As I wrote earlier, there are no roads on Redang. Everything goes by boat. Through our hotel ‘Sari Pacifica’ a boat could be arranged that would take us to Chagar Hutang and pick us up again. For a few weeks, this hotel arranges boat trips to Chagar Hutang on every Sunday for RM150 per person. At nine o’clock in the morning, we arrived at the beach. A beautiful white beach with even more blue and clear water than we have seen around the hotel. The closer we got to the beach, the more coral we saw appear below us.

No network

Once arrived ashore, the American Nick already came to great us. He is a researcher at Chagar Hutang and he took us under his wing. Nick showed us the stay of the researchers and volunteers. These are two wooden huts where they eat and sleep. What you should also remember is that there is no network in this area. No one has contact with the outside world. Lovely quiet!

Hatchlings

The research institute SEATRU works at Chagur Hutang. Here they do research on the sea turtle and mainly on hatchlings, baby turtles. For example, is there a trend in the number of females born? (The higher the temperature, the more females) How do the hatchlings move to the ocean, at what speed does this happen? How many eggs actually hatch and how many carry a disease?

Eggs

Every night the volunteers work in shifts and record how many turtles come ashore to dig their nests and how long it takes them to do so. Then each nest is marked with a stick. This indicates on which date the female has come to the beach. The eggs hatch between 45 and 60 days, so the researchers know when the hatchlings should be born and they keep track of this. When a nest hatches at night, the next morning the nest is checked to see if all eggs have hatched.

Ocean

When the nest is dug out, there is sometimes still a hatchling in it. We were there and that was amazing to see. The volunteers are lying on the ground digging out the nest. At nine am in the morning, it’s already hot! When they find a hatchling, it goes into a box. The turtle isn’t yet released to swim in the ocean. During the day this is too dangerous and it reduces the chance of survival considerably. The hatchlings are very busy and their instincts tell them to move. This is partly because of the sunlight. At night, the moon gives enough light for them to know where the ocean is. The hatchlings are placed in a cool dark place so that they can calm down and save their strength for when the evening comes.

Plastic

We’ve learned a lot about the sea turtle and especially the hatchlings. It was very interesting to visit this beach and see what kind of research is currently ongoing. On the other hand, we learned about the treats for the turtles and sea life in particular. It’s terrible to hear how many hatchlings die because of the amount of plastic in their belly. If we all reduce our plastic use, don’t use straws anymore but take our own metal straws to restaurants, the sea life will remain as it is. There is a long way to go but if we all do this together we can keep enjoying the ocean and all the beautiful things in it. We were really impressed by the work the researches and volunteers have done and are still doing! Soon my vlog will be online with pictures of the beach, the nests and of course the hatchlings!

2019-08-21T18:14:49+08:00augustus 17th, 2019|

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