Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand

by Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand
Protecting Marine Turtles in Thailand

Introduction 

The growing tourism industry has put a strain on most habitats, especially in the more beautiful areas. Thailand is no exception with their very sensitive turtle population becoming increasingly threatened.This project aims to protect the critical population of the turtles in Thailand by providing a safe area for turtles to lay their eggs so that they continue to populate even when the tourists arrive back to the beaches.

Report 

By providing protected areas we hope to grow the population of turtles in Thailand and get them off the endangered list. We know that this project will work as we have seen a huge increase in numbers since tourism has been put on hold for the past months. $20 provides 5 information and awareness packs for local community campaigns.

Thank you for your support

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Introduction 

This project works with a number of local partnerships to help develop and protect our Marine Environment. We fund resources and support for our local partners to focus on creating awareness and outreach campaigns to engage the local community and educate them on the issues that surround them in the ocean.

Report 

Through dedicated local partnerships we aim to raise awareness in the local schools on the importance of protecting our marine life. We have managed to raise $19214 so far with a target of $25000 we are almost there. Just $15 will purchase a butterfly net for our butterfly surveys and $20 will provide 5 educational packs for our outreach program on shark awareness.

Thank you for your support

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Dear Supporters,

 

The second quarter of the year saw the world on lockdown due to COVID-19, whilst Thailand banned all international travel and closed its borders. It also closed all National Parks and restricted inter province travel, meaning that there was a lot less internal travel as well as the number of people within Thailand. 

 

As COVID-19 took hold on the world, the wildlife in Thailand took the opportunity to thrive. This year has seen the greatest number of sea turtles returning to the beaches to lay their eggs, this has included Leatherback, Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley. Research is now taking place to see if this is due to the reduction in numbers of people on the beach? The reduction of light pollution due to hotels and restaurants being closed? Stability after the 2004 tsunami? Increased numbers of the species surviving in the wild? 

Our marine national parks usually close May-Oct, this year they have benefitted from a longer break. With no news on the return of international travel this break may be extended further, or at least a vastly reduced number of visitors. 

 

August 2020 Ban Nam Khem had a visit from two dolphins, they had got caught in the rocks and were injured. The Phuket Marine Biological Centre were quickly informed and came to rescue them. The initial work provided by the community was vital in saving the lives of the dolphins. They were taken to Phuket for specialist care and I am pleased to report that both have now returned to the ocean. 

 

Overfishing is a big problem throughout the world, living in a fishing village it's been good to see the reduction in the number of trips taken by the fishing boats, the number of shrimp and lobster farms has also reduced due to the reduction of demand. This will have an impact on so many different areas of conservation. 


DMCR have continued their work after an initial break, they have continued organising beach cleans and mangrove planting. It's been great to see them throughout the region. They have certainly had a great impact even in exceedingly difficult times. Monsoon rains had started as usually this brought up large amounts of trash onto our beaches. Just a couple of weeks ago on a beach clean we found a yogurt pot from 1987, showing just how long the plastic lasts. A recent study was completed, and 47 humans were found to have plastic in all their organs. This information is horrifying and pushes us to reduce the amount of plastic used and find ways to reuse and recycle what we already have in circulation.

There are many National Parks in Thailand that have remained closed, it will be extremely exciting to return and see how the ecosystems have developed and changed with the lack of disturbance. 

 

We hope to return to education soon and increase our impact on the surrounding areas of Ban Nam Khem. 

 

We also hope that in light of the pandemic people attitudes will shift and new hope is given to our very fragile world.

 

Thank you for all your donations, we really need them to keep our work going and to expand the knowledge of the local and global communities. 

 

With Gratitude,

 

Thailand Marine

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Dear Supporters,

 

The first quarter of the new decade started well, biodiversity surveys were underway both in and out of the water. The Sea turtle conservation centre was busy with tourists, allowing the opportunity to educate them on the importance of the centre and the threats that the turtles face once they are released. 

 

Marine Life - January through March is the perfect time for us to complete our coral and fish ID surveys. Two sites off the Andaman coast are the perfect areas to survey, with us able to compare the health of the coral in both areas. Ko Pa (just off the coast of Ban Nam Khem) has suffered over the last number of years with bleaching, this year its good to see that the coral is recovering, and reduced bleaching is visible. This has also led to an increased number of fish in the area. Lionfish were there to greet us nearly every survey.  Koh Nai Yak is our alternative site, coral is generally healthier here and this year again we have seen increased recovery. This is all really positive news for marine life and the coral provides an ecosystem and protection for hundreds of different species. 

 

During the first quarter of this year there was a noticeable difference in the health of the turtles, with fewer turtles in the tanks we recorded a decrease in the number of infections that the turtles had. The Green Sea Turtles were also responding well to the additional greens that your kind donations have supplied.

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic The Royal Thai Navy closed the conservation centre to all visitors and volunteers. We have maintained contact and are pleased to hear that all the turtles are doing well through this time. 

 

The pandemic has affected Thailand as it has the rest of the world. However, with reduced visitor numbers we have seen the highest number of turtles return to the beaches to lay their eggs. So far 11 Leatherback turtles have nested this is the highest number for over 20 years. We have also seen nests on neighbouring islands Ko Ko Khao and Ko Pra Thong. This is great news not just for the turtles but also for Thailand and we hope that this trend continues. Keeping our beaches clean and free from garbage ensures that the beaches are clean and easy for the turtles to lay. 

 

Camera Trap surveys – With help from GVI Trust we have purchased a number of camera traps that have been surveying two nearby islands. With the findings we have been able to confirm the presence of Sunda Pangolin (the most trafficked mammal in the world) the Sunda Pangolin (Manis Javanica) is listed by the ICUN Red List as critically endangered, due to high levels of hunting and poaching for its meat and scales. Over the last few months, we have images of a mother and baby pangolin which is really exciting. However, this quarter we had very bad news, whilst on survey we discovered that 3 of our cameras had been taken from their survey sites. This means that we have not only lost the camera but also the footage for the previous month. We are now considering our options and the impact that the project can have going forward. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to reach out to new partners to see how we can help. 

 

Protecting the coastline – whilst we work conserving both the marine and terrestrial wildlife, we also need to ensure that the shoreline is protected. Mangroves are the perfect solution to be able to do this. We have planted over 500 mangrove saplings this quarter, working with The Department for Marine Coastal Resources (DMCR) we have started planting in several new locations. Visiting sites that we have planted over the last couple of years is very encouraging. The trees are establishing well and are already providing shelter for the ecosystems in the water but also playing an especially important role in the ecosystems on land too. Bird and butterfly surveys have been very productive here and we have seen several different species in these areas.       

 

Whilst this quarter was cut short due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we started the new decade with new hope. We also hope that in light of the pandemic people attitudes will shift and new hope is given to our very fragile world. Thank you for all your donations, we really need them to keep our work going and to expand the knowledge of the local and global communities. 

 

With Gratitude,

 

Phang Nga Conservation

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Dear Supporters,

 

Animal husbandry is a continuous learning-curve, there are always gaps in our knowledge that need to be filled, especially when caring for a creature that is endangered. That’s why when we are at the Thai Navy Base Turtle Head-start Program, we’re always looking for ways to improve our practices and facilities in order to keep our turtles as content as can be. In this last quarter we have focused on making sure the turtles in the centre are raised as healthy as possible in order to provide them with the best chance for future survival rereleased into the wild. 

 

Greens for Greens

Over the course of the year, through careful observations noted during our data collection, we had come to an understanding that the turtles were in need of more vegetables in their diet. As green turtles’ transition into adulthood they change from an omnivore's diet as youngsters to a more herbivorous lifestyle in their older age. Therefore, to replicate their behaviours in wild it’s important that their diets remain suitable to their stage of life. The Navy Base already provides a mixture of food including fish and greens to the necessary age groups. However, the Navy’s budget only stretches so far, and we wanted to supplement the turtles with more vegetables. Consequently, in December GVI Phang Nga organised a fundraiser in order to raise money so that we could provide extra greens on a regular basis. Thanks to the funding we have been able to supply the turtles with extra portions of nutrient-packed vegetables. The fundraiser took the form of a team-effort bike ride and for every $10 donated one of our team, volunteers or staff, would hastily hop on a push-bike and pedal like mad around a 2km track, le tour de Ban Nam Khem. 

 

Behind the Curtain

One of the newest instalments at the Navy Base is a tank, the largest in the centre so far. Situated on its own, towards the far-right of the site, the tanks’ sheltering system is a little grander than the other older tanks. However, as with any new-builds there have been some initial unforeseen issues that have arisen and at the forefront of our attention. Guarding the turtles from the raw forces of the coastal elements is a thick line of evergreen trees. However, in this conflicted world, these guardians are also proving to be somewhat of a nuisance to our turtles. The needles from the pines are blowing into the tanks in quite considerable numbers. We know this because we have swept and swept the pine needles away, taking photos to see how many new needles arrive by the time we comeback. The problem is that the turtles see these fresh needles dropping into their tanks as a tasty snack but are not able to digest the needles properly; which can wreak havoc in their digestive tracts and can have severe implications for the turtles if too many are consumed. So, this is where we come in, having assessed the area around the tank over a period of time, we’ve come to conclusion that we need to either cover the tank with netting to capture the needles, or erect a large curtain on the offending side of the tanks shelter, where the needles are entering. We currently have new chief in command at the Navy base who we must communicate with and so we are in the process of gaining his trust. Therefore, we our busy drafting plans with several options of how to prevent this from occurring in the future. As such, the funds will be used to keep the needles at bay.  

 

To all our donors throughout 2019 we'd like to say an enormous thank you from our staff members. We cannot wait to see the good things that will come from 2020 but we are ready and waiting to make more unbelievable changes to the world!

 

With Gratitude,

 

Thailand Marine

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London, London United Kingdom
$19,743 raised of $25,000 goal
 
362 donations
$5,257 to go
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