Night walk in March to protect endangered turtles

(From left) Zainal and Ismail holding the event T-shirt. With them are Mohd Fadhil (right) and Lavanya holding the event route and logo respectively.

MELAKA: The public in Melaka, especially nature lovers, can support the ongoing Hawksbill turtle conservation efforts in the state by registering for the Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk here next month.

State housing, local government and environment committee chairman Datuk Wira Ismail Othman said all funds raised from the March 24 event would be channelled to World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) conservation efforts, including protecting the turtles.

He said the population of the endangered species had been shrinking from year to year despite thousands of Hawksbill baby turtles being released into the Straits of Malacca yearly after being hatched at the Turtle Conservation and Information Centre in Padang Kemunting, Masjid Tanah.

“The decline is caused, among others, by the low survival rate of the baby turtles which were released into the sea.

“For every 1,000 released, only one or two survive major threats such as predators and habitat destruction,” he said after announcing the scheduled Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk programme at Graha Makmur in Ayer Keroh.

Also present were Melaka Historic City Council (MBMB) mayor Datuk Wira Zainal Hussin, WWF-Malaysia policy and climate change head Lavanya Rama Iyer and MBMB councilor Mohd Fadhil Hassan.

Ismail said MBMB and the state Fisheries Department would continue to work closely with WWF-Malaysia in conservation efforts to protect Hawksbill turtles and its eggs.

He said marine turtles such as Hawksbill turtles played important roles in the ocean by maintaning healthy habitats for marine life and keeping a balance in the marine food web.

“If we do not start to recognise and appreciate the values turtles provide to us, the remaining turtle population will be in danger of becoming extinct,” he said.

Registration for the 2.6km Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk can be made at before March 11 and the fee is RM65 per participant.

Registered participants will receive a walk pack comprising 100% cotton, eco-friendly Earth Hour 2018 T-Shirt and a medal made from recycled wood.

Medals will only be distributed to participants who complete the walk at the end of the Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk.

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