25 June 2015

Sea turtle seen at Changi!

Thanks to Abdul Khabir who shared a precious sighting of a sea turtle at Changi Beach.
Photo by Abdul Khabir.
From the photo, it appears the sea turtle was preparing or had already laid eggs in the sand. Here's more of what Abdul Khabir shared.

"I was lucky to spot a turtle, most probably a hawksbill, yesterday (23 Jun 2015) night around 9.30pm. I was walking down the jogging path on the way back from work, when I spotted something stirring in the sands a few metres away from the jogging path.

Not knowing what to do, I approached cautiously. When it was clear it was indeed a turtle, I was torn about what to do next.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid I might have scared her off when I took a few photos. A cyclist stopped by briefly a few minutes later, watching her for a couple of minutes, snapped a photo and rode off. I only read more about them after the encounter and some articles mentioned that they might be scared of lights.

Nonetheless, please find attached, a photo. Hope that you will be able to identify them and recommend next course of action. I really hope there are eggs inside the nest. I've already call NParks hotline to report the sighting and they say they will inform their officers."

What to do if you spot a sea turtle on the shore away from the water?

Do what Abdul Khabir did. If you see a sea turtle, or sea turtle eggs, or sea turtle babies. Call the NParks (Helpline number: 1800 4717300, or any other emergency number that you can see posted on signage in the park). They will then activate the Standard Operating Procedure to rescue them.

Dead sea turtle in the South

Sadly, in Jun 2015 the folks at the St John's Islands Marine Lab shared on facebook, their sighting of a dead sea turtle seen near Jurong:

"On Tuesday morning, the carcass of a freshly dead green turtle was found by our researchers while on the way to their survey site. It was floating on the water surface along Selat Pandan, which is the channel between Jurong Island and the Southern Islands. RIP."

Thanks to Chay Hoon for highlighting this sighting.

How can we help protect our sea turtles?

  • Stop littering.
  • Stop mass balloon releases.

Two balloons were discovered in the digestive tract of this sea turtle along with the balloon string.
Photo by USFWS Northeast Region facebook page
Balloons and soft plastic kill sea turtles, slowly and painfully. Balloons, plastic bags, nylon rope, styrofoam are swallowed by sea turtles which mistake these for jellyfish. One report found that sea turtles are selectively preferring to eat soft plastics over other types of rubbish.
Exploded balloon floating in seagrass
An exploded ballon looks very much like a jellyfish!
This was seen at Cyrene Reef.

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