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Bali Representative | 18 January 2011
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Together With Local People, Lets Protect Sea Turtle in Kuta Beach Bali



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Release of sea turtle hatchlings on Kuta Beach, Bali

Release of sea turtle hatchlings on Kuta Beach, Bali

Who don't familiar with the beauty of Kuta beach? Tourists both from foreign and domestic visit the beach every day to see the famous surf. They also enjoy the splash of heat and its enchantment in the dawn in the Westside. Surprisingly none considers that now Kuta beach is also home for sea turtle.

Historically, almost whole beaches in Bali were landing beaches. Along with the running time, now only few beaches left for turtle to lay eggs. One of the beaches is Kuta Beach. The beach is not only visited by tourists but sea turtle to lay eggs. This is surprising since the beach surrounding is crowded by buildings.

Sea turtles that land on the beach are olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). In order to safe keeping the landed turtle on Kuta beach, the Kuta Safeguard (satgas) cooperate with ProFauna's Bali Representative to make the rescue effort in Kuta beach. The program started in 2002 consists of nest protection with its eggs, the setting up of alert board in some beaches where turtle use to lay eggs. ProFauna also arranges training on managing and rescuing sea turtle for the Kuta safeguard. Later, in 2003, Human Society International and Born Free Foundation supports the protection program in Kuta.

Although Bali is famous as the central of its turtle slaughtering habit (centralized in Tanjung Benoa) but this cooperation hopefully a positive aspects about sea turtle protection in Bali. This program puts aside such opinion that Balinese are fond of consuming turtle meat. There turn out to be many who care about turtle protection like Kuta people lead by Kuta safeguard. Without being paid, they work hard to protect the landed turtle to lay eggs in Kuta beach. However, the most important thing is that turtle release is free from commercial aspects!

Updated Sea Turtle Protection programs in Kuta Bali 2010

Updated Sea Turtle Protection programs in Kuta Bali 2010During this decade, Kuta Beach has been well developing as the tourism center in Bali. The condition affects to the species that use the beach for their life and breeding such as the sea turtles. Several prominent figures of Kuta traditional villagers stated that previously there were many sea turtles laying their eggs on Kuta Beach. Time by time the activity was reducing then became so rare to find. However, in this last two years, the sea turtles have been starting to appear landing on the Kuta Beach-Bali. The fact is surprising as in the middle of the crowded of tourism center in Kuta Beach there are still many sea turtles landing and nesting on this beach.

On the beginning, the nesting sea turtles in Kuta Beach were handled by Beach Guarded Team in Kuta Beach (called Satgas Pantai Kuta), however limited knowledge in handling the sea turtles caused the eggs of the turtles could not be hatched. They routinely watery the hatching site with assumption that the eggs can be hatched (like plant grow). Then since 2002, Satgas Kuta has been cooperation with ProFauna Indonesia to handle the nesting sea turtles in Kuta Beach. On the cooperation, ProFauna accompanies Satgas Kuta who work on the beach and gives advices about how to handle the nesting sea turtle.

The total egg clutches for the Olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting on Kuta Beach in 2010 is 92 resulting 8,725 eggs and 7,810 released hatchlings. 57 mothers have been flipper-tagged. 9 mothers with recovery tags nested on the Beach. A mother with "IDB 00018" tag nested and laid eggs for three times this year. According to ProFauna's record, a mother turtle nested twice in a season at the most. Another sea turtle mother with "IDB 00051" tag laid the most number of eggs, 177 which breaks the previous record for 160. Compared to 2009, the total eggs and released hatchlings in 2010 increases for 56%.

Impact of the Programs

Impact of the ProgramsThe impact from sea turtle protection programs in Kuta is the rise of awareness and ability of Satgas Pantai Kuta in handling the nesting sea turtles. The Kuta Traditional villagers have shown their more support to the sea turtles protection programs. The officials of BKSDA of Forestry Department Bali have also been more active and enthusiasm in doing the sea turtle rescue activities.

Tourists visiting Kuta Beach and accidentally passing the hedged sea turtle nests on the beach become more aware about the sea turtle protection as they often ask further information to the Satgas Pantai Kuta. The programs are so effective to spread information about the sea turtles to the public especially to the tourists visiting Kuta Beach.

The sea turtle programs in Kuta become kind of pilot project of the protection of sea turtle involving the local people. The fact can be seen from the program of comparison study from villagers surround Pantai Sanur to see how Satgas Pantai Kuta doing the activity in protecting sea turtles together with ProFauna Indonesia. The sea turtle programs in Kuta have also took interest from central Forestry Department (from Forestry Information Center-Jakarta) to see the sea turtle protection programs in Kuta Bali directly.

Hopefully the turtle protection program running in Bali can bring the better image of this paradise island as well as Indonesia in general.

For further information, please contact:

ProFauna's Bali Representative
email: bali@profauna.net

Supported by

The Born Free Foundation (BFF)Humane Society International (HSI) - Australia