Connect with us


Dead turtle highlights endangered species’ plight



PHUKET (TNA, Gazette): The discovery of a dead Olive Ridley turtle in front of the West Sands Resort on Mai Khao Beach on March 17 has again raised the issue of coastal development depleting endangered turtles’ natural breeding grounds.

The Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) at Cape Panwa was alerted to the discovery by the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation.

Sontaya Manawatthana of the PMBC’s Marine Endangered Species Unit reported that many species of fish and squid were found in the dead turtle’s esophagus, with little in its stomach.

“This indicates that the animal ate this prey just before its death. The species of prey we found, which are typically caught by trawler, are normally too fast for turtles to hunt down, so it is most likely that the turtle fed upon these prey while in a trawler’s net…

“This turtle was an immature male, aged around 10 years. Its overall condition was healthy, which makes it so unfortunate he died like this…

“The Olive Ridley turtle is highly endangered in Thailand, where nesting numbers are even lower than the Leatherback turtle. Its only known nesting sites now are at Phrathong Island in Phang Nga,” he said.

“The situation is worrying. In the past five decades, the number of sea turtles has dropped five-fold. Beaches in Phang Nga and Phuket used to be places for sea turtles to lay eggs. Now, there are only 20 or so nests per year,” said PMBC biologist Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong.

Leatherback sea turtles used to be found on Phuket’s Mai Khao Beach. The Olive Ridley, the smallest and probably the most ubiquitous species of sea turtle worldwide, is at risk of extinction locally, he added.

The major cause for the plummeting sea turtle population locally is over-development of coastal areas for tourism, K. Kongkiat said.

According to the Marine and Coastal Resources Development and Research Center, the number of sea turtles coming to Thailand’s Andaman shores to lay their eggs has dropped dramatically to only 10-20 nests per year, decreasing from up to 1,000 nests in the past.

Human influence affects coastal areas where sea turtles live for six months before coming ashore shore to lay eggs. In the near future, sea turtles might disappear from Thailand’s Andaman coast altogether, K. Kongkiat said.

“Naturally, sea turtles will return to the same place they usually come to lay eggs. But they will not return if the place is not safe for them anymore. They will find a new, better place,” said K. Kongkiat.

More sea turtles are choosing to lay their eggs on beaches in Myanmar and Malaysia, where there is less human intrusion, he said.

As a result, sea turtle conservation efforts are not only increasing their numbers there, but also providing them with a good environment suitable for their living and reproduction, he added.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Politics9 hours ago

6 months in, Bangkok Governor Chadchart rated highly

North East9 hours ago

Bloody end to innocent celebratory nap

Crime10 hours ago

Officials seize 25 tonnes of illegal meat from Chon Buri factory

Pattaya11 hours ago

Raid roundup: Pattaya pubs, cannabis shops scrutinised

Crime12 hours ago

Loan shark sends goons to attack man in hospital and steal his car

Election13 hours ago

‘Big Joke’ goes back to school to hunt visa crooks

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Insurgency13 hours ago

Insurgent bomb derails train in Songkhla

Bangkok14 hours ago

Fire at Bangkok’s CentralWorld mall sends shoppers scurrying (video)

Video14 hours ago


Transport14 hours ago

Disruptive Phuket-bound passenger thrown off flight in Karachi

Tourism15 hours ago

Air Canada’s Vancouver-Bangkok flight touches down Thailand

Bangkok Travel1 day ago

Ari All Link is a must-attend skill-up workshop for Ari people

Cannabis News1 day ago

Anutin responds to photo of cannabis smoking kids on Pattaya Beach

Education1 day ago

Thai student allegedly raped by Hyderabad U professor

Tourism1 day ago

Phuket welcomes 6,730 flights in December

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11