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Monday October 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday October 14, 2013 MYT 7:58:21 AM
MALACCA’S coastline – with its narrow beaches and facing one of the busiest shipping channels in the world – is not what one would typically consider prime turtle nesting habitat.
Nevertheless, it is the second largest nesting area for the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) in South-East Asia, after Sabah’s Turtle Island. An average of 400 nestings (exclusively hawksbill turtle) are recorded yearly by the Fisheries Department, the country’s management authority for sea turtles.
At present, four prime rookeries are home to approximately 80% of the nesting population in Malacca: Pulau Upeh (Upeh Island), Kem Terendak, Padang Kemunting and the Tanjung Dahan-Tanjung Serai stretch.
The hawksbill turtle got its name because of its beak that resembles the eagle’s. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful species of marine turtles due to the striking golden-brown pattern of its carapace.
Hawksbill turtles have been hunted for decades for their shells and eggs. Their shells are used as decorations while their eggs are a delicacy among the locals.
The Fisheries Rule (Turtles and Turtle’s Eggs) was enacted in 1989 to protect these eggs from being over-harvested; only licensed egg collectors are allowed to collect the eggs.
All the eggs collected are then sent to the hatchery at Padang Kemunting Sea Turtle Sanctuary for incubation.
The nesting season is from March to September – with May, June and July being the peak months.
Friends of the hawksbill turtle
Favourite nesting place
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Lifestyle, Hawksbill Eco-Club, Malacca, Hawksbill turtle
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