The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

They’re gone: Tourism development blamed for killing off Phuket turtle nesting sites

PHKET: The rapid pace of development in Phuket over the past two decades has devastated the natural habitats where turtles once laid eggs on the island’s beaches, but marine life experts are holding out hope that the turtles will return – even if only to the last preserved beach areas where human activities are restricted.

environment, marine, animals, construction, tourism, economics,


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Saturday 19 August 2017, 09:00AM


The discovery last month of a clutch of turtle eggs in a nest on Racha Island, about 25 kilometres south of Phuket, raised hopes.

“Only once in the past 20 years has a turtle nest been found on Koh Racha,” said Hirun Kanghae, Acting Chief of the Marine Endangered Species Unit (MESU) at Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC).

Flipper tracks in the sand led to the nest, buried near The Racha Resort. The nest contained 94 eggs in total, but seven were already broken when resort staff discovered it.

“We moved the remaining 87 eggs to a safe place on the island. The mother was not found; we believe it was a big turtle,” Mr Hirun explained.

Mr Hirun pointed out that historically turtles laying eggs in Phuket tend to nest on Kamala, Layan, Mai Khao and Bang Tao beaches and at Patok Beach on Racha Island.

However, of the hundreds of turtle nests found in Phuket and Koh Racha in 2008, only 0.7% of that number have been found so far this year.

Of note, another expert explained that turtles tended to nest in cycles, with some years passing with very few nests laid. “This is normal,” he said.

Yet Mr Hirun was plain in his point of view of what has forced turtles away from Phuket’s beaches: “Damn humans”.

“This is because of human activity at the beaches, most importantly trash and pollution, but also the buildings along the coast,” he said.

Trash and pollution make turtles attempting to return sick and die, while increased fishing is also contributing to the problem, with many turtles caught up in fishing nets, even fishing nets that have been dumped into the sea.

QSI International School Phuket

“Beach erosion is another factor,” Mr Hirun said. “Turtles may not be able to climb over the erosion to lay their eggs on the beach,” he added.

Releasing thousands of baby turtles hatched in captivity may be helping to replenish the local turtle population, but it is very difficult to tell, Mr Hirun noted.

“As far as we can tell most baby turtles released never come back to Phuket beaches,” he said, noting that the DMCR began such mass-release projects as far back as 1979.

“We started implanting microchips in these turtles, but many DMCR officers trying to track these turtles over the years have not had microchip readers,” he added.

The DMCR records all reports of turtles found on beaches in the Andaman region, Mr Hirun explained, with about 50 turtles found around Phuket so far this year, about 18 last year, but about 60 in 2015.

Although supporting the project to record sightings, Mr Hirun gave a moment of pause. “These are only sightings, we have no idea if these are baby turtles released here that have come back. We just don’t know,” he said.

However, of the microchipped turtles that do return to the Andaman region, most of them return to Trang and Krabi provinces, not Phuket, Mr Hirun noted.

The lack of a comprehensive and co-ordinated campaign to track turtles in Phuket has spurred the DMCR Region 6 office to launch a new project.

“We released 100 baby turtles three years ago and this time, in addition to having them fitted with microchips in the left shoulder, for the first time we added tags to the front right flippers so that if local residents and fishermen find one of the turtles, they can report to us the number on the tag,” Mr Hirun said.

“Currently, about 90% of these turtles are well and healthy in the ocean, but they have not come back to Phuket’s beaches yet. Maybe they will do in future. It takes time, about 10-15 years,” he added.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
Security:
   => Forget password?

chris007 | 19 August 2017 - 17:16:18

You could have a 1000 turtles laying eggs on phukets beaches and they will ALL end up at the markets or in the wok at home. Thai tradition and poverty will see to that.Unfortunate but true. By all means blame tourism.

The Phuket News

Foot | 19 August 2017 - 10:03:56

It should be pointed out that less than 5% of baby turtles survive their first years in the wild.  The reported 90% rate is not correct.

The Phuket News

Belzybob | 19 August 2017 - 09:04:17

The title of this article is incorrect. It should be something like "Uncontrolled development supported by past government corruption, causes the loss of turtle nesting sites".

The Phuket News
Matches 3 result(s)
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Man nearly loses hand in ice crusher

Lucky man! I wish him good recovery. "Safety first" at work apply to employer and employee. Work-safe equipment, and well trained employee...(Read More)


Patong Mayor, PEA drive on to bury communication cables

About the money: Yes, about 50% of the 'guest accommodation on Phuket is illegal ( government figures), they don't pay tourist tax. Of cours...(Read More)


Phuket readies for Christmas, New Year road safety onslaught

What is that local fascination with road safety during .."annual 7 days of danger" ? As Thailand has been recently promoted to nr 1 top ran...(Read More)


Patong Mayor, PEA drive on to bury communication cables

About the practical cable note: How to connect to the end users, guess we can see in Old Phuket town streets how they tackled this problem there? Al...(Read More)


Phuket slow loris touts escape officials

Touting by thai law is illegal and a crime. The 'highly trained' police is for us, society, to prevent and fight crime. That includes toutin...(Read More)


Patong Mayor, PEA drive on to bury communication cables

On a practical note, once all the coms. cables are put underground, how will they actually be connected to the end users? They have to come above grou...(Read More)



Patong Mayor, PEA drive on to bury communication cables

NO money, eh? Make the illegal hotels register and the tax from that will pay for it. Of course that entails relinquishing a source of illegal, untaxe...(Read More)


Two men arrested with 5.4mn ‘ya bah’ pills, 120kg of ‘ya ice’

As we see the table load of drugs, it is hard to believe that '2 men in a pick up, and being old school friends in the past', just transporter...(Read More)


Phuket slow loris touts escape officials

Maybe its's because it's not a Police or Navy matter. They are highly trained in matters that don't concern animals or touts nor are they ...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.