Pulau Tioman is famous for its beaches and beautiful scenery. It now wants to add turtle conservation as part of its eco-tourism initiative.
Authorities have decided to set up a turtle hatchery at the cost of RM25,000 located at Teluk Sri Intan beach on Pulau Tioman.
The others are found at Teluk Baruk and Pasir Mentawak, Kampung Juara, Pulau Tioman.
The initiative was spearheaded by the Pahang Palace while the authorities provided technical assistance.
Thus, The Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah officiated the opening of the hatchery.
Named “Tengku Arif Temenggung (TAT) Sanctuary Teluk Sri Intan", it is the third of such facilities at the island.
This location is often visited by turtles, usually between the months of March and October.
The turtles are mainly the Karah or Hawksbill (Eretmochelys Imbricata) and Agar or Green (Chelonia Mydas) species.
After they were laid, the turtle eggs were transferred into sand-filled styrofoam boxes for the hatching process.
The boxes would then be buried between 45 and 60 cm for incubation in sand at the nests.
The nests would then be covered with mesh wiring to protect the turtle eggs from predators.
Recording is meticulous specifying turtle species, date of egg laying and the number of eggs at each of the nests.
After 45 to 60 days, hatchlings are released into sea in the night in an effort to reduce the threat posed by predators like eagles and sharks.
In 2008, 90 turtle egg laying nests were found with 60 percent of the eggs successfully hatched.
Authorities hope that the locals can also play a part in the effort.
The authorities have also identified more locations on Pulau Tioman that could be possible turtle landing areas in Pantai Pasir Munjur, Teluk Saing and Teluk Penut.
It is also hoped that such conservation efforts would encourage more tourists to visit the island.
Norehan Saleh, "Turtles, Tioman's New Attraction" dated 3 June 2009 in the Bernama website [downloaded on 3 June 2009], available athttp://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsfeatures.php?id=415477