Tourism (and art) good news for turtles in Malaysia

There are several turtle sanctuaries in Malaysia and they are becoming more and more popular with tourists, which can only be a good thing. Many of them are funded by nearby hotels and resorts and as they grow in popularity, so does their funding.

Turtle sanctuaries can be found in Sabah, Sarawak, Tioman, Terengganu and Penang. Many of these sanctuaries, such as those found on Pulau Tioman or Mabul in Sabah, now have direct or indirect funding from nearby resorts.

03 Lang Tengah Turtle Watch and Tanjong Jara Resort Staff, Interns and Rangers Relocating the First Nests of the 2018 Season
Tanjong Jara Resort Staff, Interns and Rangers Relocating the First Nests of the 2018 Season

Scuba Junkies Dive Resort on Pulau Mabul in Sabah houses a small hatchery on the resort grounds, with an education program in place to encourage villagers to sell them eggs at three times the market value.

Luxury hotel operator YTL Hotels’ Tanjong Jara Resort in Terengganu, has been funding the Lang Tengah Turtle Watch for several years now, with some success, and has recently pledged to strengthen its commitment, following continued support for the initiative from hotel guests.

02 Lang Tengah Turtle Watch Three Current Hatcheries Outside the Nelayan Restaurant
Three Current Hatcheries Outside the Nelayan Restaurant, Tanjong Jara Resort.

“Wildlife protection is a cause that we take very seriously here at YTL Hotels,” said Geraldine Dreiser, YTL Hotels Vice-President of Marketing. “We also recognise the important role tourism plays in conservation and as turtles are an integral part of Terengganu, we are committed to doing everything we can to protect these majestic creatures,” she said.

In addition to covering licensing fees and other operational costs, the funds will also be used on new equipment that will enable the team to continue providing high-resolution photographic updates to guests taking part in the popular nest adoption programme.

01 Lang Tengah Turtle Watch Checking-Health-of-Hatchlings
Checking-Health-of-Hatchlings at Lang Tengah Turtle Watch.

Following the construction of a third hatchery last August, the Lang Tengah Turtle Watch at Tanjong Jara Resort continues its expansion, with works currently underway for a fourth hatchery. Scheduled for completion in June 2018 this latest hatchery will be used as a research centre and will enable egg development and will allow for nest and hatchling fitness assessments to be carried out.

04 Tanjong Jara turtle foundation Terengganu-Native and Local Artist, Jennifer Tan copy
Terengganu-Native and Local Artist, Jennifer Tan.

Partially funded by local artist and regular guest of Tanjong Jara Resort, Jennifer Tan, the research hatchery will double current incubation capacity levels, increasing the total to 240 nests per season across all the hatcheries. Raising proceeds from her recent exhibition, ‘The Awakening’, Ms. Tan was inspired by the efforts of Lang Tengah Turtle Watch at Tanjong Jara Resort and painted the turtle using her trademark coffee grounds. The exhibition was aimed at highlighting the plight of the turtle.

Hotel guests are invited to take part in nest inspections during the day and (if you’re lucky), witness the emergence of the hatchlings by night, while informative talks are held each day which all guests are encouraged to attend.

A full list of turtle sanctuaries and hatcheries in Malaysia can be found here.

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