Friday, August 24, 2007

Terrapins facing danger

The Star
Friday August 24, 2007
By CHEN PELF NYOK


SETIU: Sand mining operations at Tebing Pasir Penarik, a prime nesting area for river terrapins here, has upset villagers and a turtle research organisation.

Villagers of Kampung Mangkuk were shocked to learn about the operations, which were launched in the area recently.


Several villagers interviewed by The Star said the mining operations began four days ago and they were worried about the effects on the terrapins, one of the most critically-endangered turtle species.

Village headman Awang Janus said they were told that the project was intended to deepen Sungai Setiu so bigger boats could use the river.

He expressed disgust with the sand mining, saying villagers were not consulted.
The turtle egg collectors were also kept in the dark, he added.


Awang said the sand mining would also endanger the homes located nearby as there would likely be massive erosion.

Prof Chan Eng Heng, who heads the Turtle Research and Rehabilitation Group in Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, was also upset to hear of the sand mining operations.

He said river terrapins would never return to nest in the area if the banks were destroyed.
“If this continues, the river terrapin population will be greatly affected, and they will become extinct in less than 10 years,” added Prof Chan, who has been running a river terrapin recovery programme for Sungai Setiu since 2004.


Another typical Bolehland episode:
While efforts were being done to protect the terrapin, the greedy goes for the sand. Photos below showed the amount of sands along Sg Setiu in 2006. The terrapins will be gone very soon.



2 comments:

pelf said...

Hi Forest, I'd like to point to you that both pictures you have on your post were taken in Dungun, not Setiu.

The river terrapin volunteer program that you attended in 2006 were in Dungun, remember? :)

Forest Ang said...

Hi Pelf,
Thanks for correcting me. Just remembered the pictures above were not of Sg Setiu. But with the amount of sands there, I can predict that it will be the next to go after Setiu...if everyone keeps quiet.
If the article was by you, my salute to you for the good job.