World Turtle News, 12/04/2016

Land reclamation in Malaysia puts environment and turtles at risk

The island of Pulau Upeh is only a few kilometres north of the UNESCO-listed city. For generations it has been the state’s major nesting site for the critically-endangered hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), but reclamation is encroaching. Once two kilometres out to sea, Pulau Upeh is now only 600 metres offshore. The effect on the turtle has been immense. From 111 landings in 2011, there were just 13 recorded as of October this year. WWF Malaysia has been monitoring hawksbill activities on the island for a decade, and is concerned not only about the population in Pulau Upeh, but all along the coast of Melaka where there are at least ten nesting beaches. After Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, Melaka has the most significant population of hawksbills in the country.

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Species Facts…

Beale’s eyed turtle (Sacalia bealei ) is a species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae and is found in China and Hong Kong. The specific name, bealei, is in honor of Thomas Beale, a Scottish naturalist and merchant in China.

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Photo from Kate Mayberry.

WTN Editor

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