The Jakarta Post
A green turtle hatchling to makes its way to the sea. (JP/Severianus Endi )
Eighteen green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have been released at Kuta Beach, Bali, by the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in cooperation with related agencies.
“The turtles were confiscated by the Gianyar Police on March 13 as well as the Buleleng Police and Indonesian Navy [TNI AL] on March 17,” the head of BKSDA Bali, Budhy Kurniawan, said on Wednesday as quoted by Antara.
Budhy said 27 green turtles were confiscated in March this year. Four have been released at Buleleng Beach, three are being treated at Ganesha Education University and two at the Turtle Conservation and Education Center (TCEC) in Serangan, Denpasar.
Prior to them being confiscated, the green turtles underwent a traumatic journey after being poached.
“The treatment includes medication to the flippers, which were ripped due to being tied. The turtles have also undergone stress-relief treatment,” Budhy said.
Besides releasing the confiscated green turtles, the officials also released 50 olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). They were hatched in an egg relocation area managed by Kuta Beach officials and turtle enthusiasts.
Budhy said turtles were classified as endangered, as stated by Environment and Forestry Minister Regulation No. P106/2018. The law states that all kinds of exploitation of the animals are forbidden, except for research, science development and species rescue.
“The green turtle population is decreasing despite their important role in the ecosystem,” Budhy said. He added that turtles took care of the sea biota, controlling sea sponge and jellyfish populations by eating them.
Despite having a high fertility rate, laying more than 200 eggs at once, the turtle population is still threatened as not all eggs hatch and not all hatchlings live until adulthood.
“Experts say out of 1,000 baby turtles, only one will reach adulthood,” he said.
Budhy added that turtles faced threats from human activities, saying that the development of the coastline, for instance, might eradicate turtle nests. Illegal activities such as poaching, egg theft and the trade of turtle products also posed a significant threat to the species. (kes)
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