FPIK Supports Turtle Conservation in South Malang

Introduction to diseases and health measures for turtles to BSTC managers by the speaker, Drh. Syaifullah, M. Si

Community Service Activities of Marine Science Study Program (IK), FPIK-UB, chaired by Aida Sartimbul, consisting of Defri Yona, Rudianto, Fahreza Okta Setyawan, Feni Iranawati, MAZ Fuad, Syarifah Hikmah Julinda Sari, and Desy Setyoningrum, Strengthened the Role of Bajulmati Sea Turtle Conservation (BSTC) in Turtle Monitoring Activities in Gajahrejo Village, South Malang last October.

This activity aims to assist BSTC managers in restoring their function of protecting and preserving turtles that breed in Bajulmati area, especially in their ability to search for turtle nests when they are laying eggs, at night.

On this occasion, Marine Science Study Program provided assistance with several binocular night vision devices and Handy Talky which can be used to monitor/find nesting turtles as well as optimally rescue and preserve turtle eggs in Bajulmati area and surrounding areas.

Besides providing these tools, this community service activity also provides outreach and assistance regarding disease recognition and health efforts for turtles. By inviting speaker, Drh. Syaifullah, S.Kn., M.Sc., this outreach is an important component in BSTC management’s efforts to recognize diseases in turtles and take appropriate preventive steps. At that time, the community service team had the opportunity to demonstrate night vision binoculars and Handy Talky, as well as inspect the transition pool, which is used to care for hatchlings before they are ready to be released into nature.

Hatchlings that are ready to be released into the sea

With the assistance from this community service activity, the chairman of BSTC, Sutari, welcomed the assistance and support provided by FPIK-UB Marine Science Study Program.

Sutari promised to make the best use and care of this assistance so that it can be used as optimally as possible in an effort to protect and preserve turtles at Bajulmati beach.

The IK Service Team Crossed the Bajulmati Sea Turtle Conservation (BSTC) Area which was Split Due to the Bandai Wave Disaster on October 18 2022. This disaster has destroyed most of BSTC facilities.

The chief organizer of the activity, Aida Sartimbul, said that this community service is one of the implementations of the collaboration between FPIK-UB and BTSC which has been in place for quite a long time.

In addition to service activities, several students have also carried out practical field work and research in order to complete their final thesis assignments. The hope in the future is that more activities can be established between Marine Science study program and BTSC, especially in supporting the vision and mission of each party.

“This community service activity is a clear example of strong collaboration between higher education institutions and nature conservation to support turtle conservation in South Malang. “Hopefully this effort will have a positive impact on the environment and surrounding communities,” said Aida.

Climate change is increasingly evident and has triggered various phenomena such as El NiƱo, storm waves, tidal floods, and various other disasters that have an impact on marine biota, one of which is sea turtles. BajulMati Beach, South Malang is one of the beaches where turtles stop and lay their eggs.

According to WWF (2023), there are 7 species of turtles in the world, 6 of which are in Indonesia. An interesting fact, according to one of the fishermen and turtle conservation activists in South Malang named Sutari, as many as five turtles stop and lay their eggs on the beaches of South Malang. The five species of turtle are the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus), Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

The handover of several night vision binoculars and Handy Talky (HT) by the Chair of community service, Aida Sartimbul, to BSTC manager, Mr. Sutari, was witnessed by the chair and secretary of FPIK-UB Marine Science study program.

It started with Sutari’s concerns, fishermen in Gajahrejo Village, South Malang about the sustainability of the fisheries turtle life due to the threat of increasingly dense human activities such as beach tourism, so since 2008, Sutari and his family have rescued turtles that were laying eggs and released them back into the sea.

 

He carried out this activity sincerely for many years, until finally with the support of various parties such as Perhutani, Pertamina, and various elements of society, Bajulmati Sea Turtle Conservation (BSTC) was officially established on November 18 2018.

Starting from its inception until now, BSTC has several times succeeded in rescuing mother turtles laying eggs and successfully hatching them, as well as releasing hatchlings into nature from hatching turtle eggs that it collects from turtle nests in nature.

This BSTC, in addition to rescuing mother turtles who are laying eggs, rescuing turtle eggs, monitoring turtle egg incubation habitat, hatching turtle eggs, releasing hatchlings, as well as providing education to the public regarding turtles.

BSTC has even established a nature school, to facilitate school children learning about turtles and their habitat. In its activities, BSTC is assisted by various elements of society, including Marine Science Study Program (IK), Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences (FPIK), UB in the form of assistance with tools to monitor turtle egg incubation habitat and hatchling rearing water quality, as well as facilities for nature school.

However, very unfortunately, in mid-October 2022, a tidal flood disaster occurred which destroyed most of BSTC area and facilities. In mutual cooperation with various elements of society, including students and lecturers at the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences (FPIK) Brawijaya University (UB), helped restore the BSTC to function again in conservation efforts to provide a place for turtles to lay their eggs. (DS, AS/OKY/UB PR/ Trans. Iir)