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  The Star 23 Aug 06
Malaysia: Sarawak releases baby turtles

Sarawak releases between 100,000 and 200,000 baby turtles a year into the sea under a turtle conservation programme, but the survival rate was a mere 0.01% to 1%.

“So, we are trying to produce as many baby turtles as possible to increase the turtle population,” said Sarawak Forestry’s biologist James Bali, when asked after a public talk on leatherback sea turtles here on Tuesday night.

He said between 150,000 and 300,000 eggs were collected yearly at the three turtle islands - Talang-Talang Besar, Talang-Talang Kecil, off Sematan, and Satang, off Telaga Air - for hatching.

“The hatching’s success rate is between 60% and 70%,” said Bali, who heads Sarawak Forestry’s marine wildlife conservation programme.

Bali said about 90% of turtles that nested on the three islands were green turtles while the other two types were the olive ridley and hawksbill turtles.

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