The key to safeguarding our Lang Tengah nesting population of turtles—predominantly green turtles—relies upon a constant and continued presence on the island, as this is the main deterrent to egg poachers. As soon as night falls, we regularly patrol the nesting beaches on the island until the sun rises, to a brand new day.
Nests laid in Turtle Bay are left to incubate naturally (in-situ nests). We also relocate any nests that are laid on other beaches back to the safety of Turtle Beach. Our patrols are hardly run-of-the-mill, unless you consider fireflies, phosphorescence, copious amounts of shooting stars, distant lightning, and ancient creatures hauling themselves out of the sea as ordinary things to encounter!
Living 24 hours a day on camp, our volunteers and staff keep their days just as eventful as their nights; cliff-jumping off Batu Kuching, free-diving in wide open waters, bread making in our brick oven, and hiking across the entire island … truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
At our core, is our turtle project. However, in 2018 we expanded our operations from the shore, right down into the ocean. Having already compiled a list of the island’s terrestrial fauna, we are now embarking upon marine research projects to see how to improve the health of this ecosystem. This will encompass looking at fish, coral and invertebrate abundance, and diversity.
We save broken corals and grown these coral fragments in our nursery before outplanting them into the natural reefs.
As far as biological research on Lang Tengah is concerned, the records of both the marine park and WWF up until we started work have been described as ‘data deficient’. Today, our initiatives on the island include helping to fill in the blanks for both terrestrial and marine species found along this east-coast archipelago … and our preliminary studies have already shown some interesting results.
Our satellite programmes are bringing the local community to Turtle Bay, so they too can experience our project first-hand. Improvement of waste management on the island is also another key focus area for us.