Turtle conservation at New Heaven

Baby TurtleAt this years Save Koh Tao festival, the Royal Thai Navy donated 30 baby turtles from their Sea Turle conservation center In Sattahip

http://www.navy.mi.th/turtles

Usually we release the turtles as part of the festival activities, however this year we only released the biggest 9 Turtles, the remainder it was decided were too small and weak after their journey to join. After some discussion it was decided that the remaining turtles would be best looked after by us. We quickly set to work and constructed a salt water holding tanks in our garden. Salt water is circulated and cleaned by filters allowing the turtles to grow in sea like conditions. Coral rubble and other algae’s are added to the tanks to provide food and shelter. Every day we feed and observe the turtles, checking their behavior and noting any problems such as infections or any other abnormalities they might be showing. Luckily for the Turtles Dr. Jae Intaraksa and Emma from the Koh Tao Animal Clinic  are on always there to help any sick turtles.

Turtle ReleaseWe also have support from Bangkok, Dr. Ning Head of the Aquatic animal diseases research center, was here at the festival for the initial release and is helping and consulting with our program.

Today the majority of the turtles are 4 months old, they will be cared for and looked until they are 12 months old and then released here on koh Tao. There are many people who argue that it is best to leave the turtles to hatch naturally and to make the famous dash to the ocean. Of course this would be idea, however today the encroachment and lost of traditional nesting grounds means lower and lower survival rate. We hope that in a small way we can help to address this problem, if we can ‘head start’ these turtles for a year give and them an opportunity of survival, they will have more chance to make it out alone on the reef.If left to nature 90% of the turtles we are looking after would be gone already.

At new heaven we always like to make positive change in a world with a changing environment we hope to help these baby turtles make it to the next generation.

We are always happy to receive and comments about our projects, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Devrim Zahir (New Heaven Dive school owner)