Project Orion V - Rovering with Turtles
Project Orion V - Rovering with Turtles is the fifth project in the series of annual collaborations with our host organization, World Wide Fund for Nature - Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) and Pengusaha Wanita Setiu (PEWANIS), or the Setiu Women Entrepreneurs from Kampung Mangkuk.
1. Nightly beach patrol for turtle nests (during nesting seasons)
2. Turtle nest excavation
3. Awareness events and activities in SK Mangkuk - World Sea Turtle Day (WSTD)
4. English-language enrichment activities for local children
5. Painting/Re-painting of new establishments, murals at the kindergarten and local fishermen boats
6. Construction of toilet
7. Mangrove replanting
Project Orion V essentially revolves around the conservation of marine turtles in Kampung Mangkuk. Population of marine turtles have been very worrying as there is the presence of poachers and the destruction of their natural habitats (the seas and the beaches) on top of natural predators.
Turtle eggs is well known in the area for consumption and as a source of income. Poachers walk the beaches in search of turtle nests where eggs in them could be sold in the local market at relatively high prices. To deter such activities, nightly beach patrols during nesting seasons led by park rangers were conducted. Eggs if found by the patrolling team would be moved to a hatchery where it serves to keep poachers and its natural predators out.
World Sea Turtle Day (WSTD) was a three days long event where we visit various towns and cities to host road shows to create awareness and educate the public on turtle conservation and the impacts of human activities on marine turtles. The casting of fishermen's nets may accidentally trap turtles, endangering them. The purchase of turtle eggs supports poaching activities which threatens the turtle population. The bright lights, loud noises and littered beaches scare turtles away from their homes.
Kampung Mangkuk has been incredibly refreshing, with doors of the Pink House opening up to a spectacular view of the South China Sea. This place is home to both us humans and the marine turtles. Regardless of how big or small our effort may be, we're moving forward in hope that their population would some day start to look promising.
"Our Home, Our Effort" - Team Orion V