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Turtle conservation program
Program run by resort on Gili Nanggu

The resort on Gili Nanggu - just west of the island of Lombok - has a conservation program it runs for the endangered Hawksbill sea turtle - locally known as penyu sisak. The turtle is one of seven species of sea turtles found in the world. The name "hawksbill" refers to the turtle’s hooked beak. The Gili Nanggu Sea Turtle Conservation Program has been functioning since 1995.

Adult sea turtles lay eggs once a year. If you are lucky enough to visit Gili Nanggu when the baby sea turtles are ready for release, you can take part in this natural conservation activity and help give the sea turtles a future. Fishermen around the area used to sell the turtles and the eggs to traditional markets in Lombok and Bali to be consumed or for religious purposes.
Turtles are said to be used for offerings in Balinese ceremonies, but in fact this is rarely the case. People like to eat them, and most of the turtles that are sold illegally end up in the cooking pot. "To stop the species from disappearing, we buy the eggs from the fishermen and hatch them here," Herlan, a staff member of Gili Nanggu Cottages and Bungalows, said.

The eggs are purchased for Rp 500 each from the fishermen, usually during the rainy season in February and March, Herlan said. For 45 days, the eggs are buried under the sand until they hatch. A year after, when they are strong enough to survive, the turtles are released into the ocean.

"Guests can participate in the conservation program by paying Rp 100,000 to release a turtle," Herlan said. "It is a nonprofit program as the money goes to the cost of purchasing the eggs and breeding the turtles for a year." Turtles are released every month by visitors to the island, Herlan said.

Location map of Turtle conservation program

Last revised on December 14, 2009
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