Sunday, 25 May 2014

Turtle Week: Day Two

Off to School!
Day two of Turtle week on Mabul was all about the Beach and Reef Cleans! A team of staff and interns were put together, and any guests who fancied getting involved were welcomed to the group. They were given a full briefing on how to safely conduct a reef clean, so as not to harm themselves or any underwater critters, and off they went. Beach and Reef cleans are an extremely important part of Turtle Conservation. Too often dead turtles are washing ashore with their stomachs full of plastic. One of the main sources of food for a Green Turtle is jellyfish, and it must be too easy for them to mistake a plastic bag for a tasty snack. The beach clean was before lunch, and the support shown by guests was amazing, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who got involved. We collected many bags of rubbish throughout the day! Amazing work everyone! 

Showing them our informative posters
We also had our enthusiastic staff continuing their conservation presentations in Semporna for the local school – SMK Abdulla II. Once again they got the eager kids involved and spoke to them about Turtles, providing them with a range of information, from turtle conservation to biology. They were also given a ‘Treasure Hunt’ – a list of questions they had to answer, these answers were found in the informative posters that Scuba Junkie had produced a put up in the school. The answer sheets were put into a raffle, and the lucky winners got a Scuba Junkie T-shirt, wrist band and pen.

Prize Winner!

It’s not just in Semporna that we have been working to educate children on conservation. We also had
Getting kids interested in Diving
a range of activities with the kids on Mabul as well. A group from the school on Mabul came over to the resort to take part in some fun activities, and to also be provided with some educational information. They began by colouring their very own turtle hats, showing them the different species of sea turtle that exist today. They were then given a treasure hunt – a list of questions of which the answers to were posted on informative posters around the resort. They also got involved with the beach clean, getting stuck in to the less glamourous side of conservation with great enthusiasm and collecting many bags of rubbish. Our staff and interns were also involved again, reiterating to the kids why these beach cleans are so important to turtle conservation. Next up, one of our instructors gave them a short Turtle Presentation, detailing turtle biology, and the threats they face – locally and worldwide. Their day was finished off with a turtle documentary. The kids left excited, armed with a load of new information on their favourite new critter. An action packed day for everyone involved! 

Treasure Hunt!
It didn’t end there! In the evening it was time for a pub quiz, and we’re happy to report it was a great success, raising over 400rm towards Turtle conservation with 14 teams taking part. Questions ranged from diving, famous quotes, to – of course – turtles! A big thanks to everyone who got involved and congratulations to the top 3 teams! Prizes for the pub quiz included Scuba Junkie T-shirts, beers, and shots! The prizes didn’t end there, we also announced the winner of our daily ‘Guess the number of Turtle’ competition. We saw 102 Turtles whilst diving around Mabul, Sipadan and Semporna. 

Our winning teams: Congratulations guys!!

Congratulation John! Who guessed the correct number of Turtles seen that day

We’ve raised over 2000rm already, we are not even half way through the week! So a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed so far! If you’re in the area, come and get involved! Adopt a turtle, buy a delicious turtle cocktail, or take part in one of our competitions. There are great prizes to be won, including a 3 day 2 night stay at our Mabul Beach Resort! If you can’t come down and say hi, you can still get involved. We are doing a sponsored 5 hour continuous Reef Clean at the end of the week, and any contributions would be greatly appreciated! 

Hope to see you soon! 

Facts about Flatback Turtles:

  • Flatback turtle eggs incubated at temperatures below 29ºC will be male, whereas eggs incubated above 29 ºC will be female.
  • Unlike other sea turtles, flatback turtles do not spend anytime in the deep ocean preferring to bask in shallower water.
  • Each nesting season, the female lays between two and three clutches, 15 days apart
  • The flatback turtle is found only in the tropical waters of northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, and nests only in Australia
  • Flatbacks are preyed upon by Saltwater crocodiles, the largest reptile on earth. Adult females have been observed being attacked by crocs while attempting to nest.

No comments:

Post a Comment