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  The Star 13 Nov 06
Turtle plans mapped out

MALACCA: WWF-Malaysia will be spending RM150,000 on marine turtle conservation this year, its executive director Datuk Dr Mikaail Kavanagh Abdullah said.

He said conservation work also involved working with local communities, fishermen, chalet operators and schoolchildren to increase their awareness on conservation.

"It is important to boost the population of the critically endangered creatures," he added. He said one way to rope in local communities was by encouraging hawksbill turtle adoption.

Dr Kavanagh said Malaysia was recognised as one of the top 12 biologically diverse countries in the world. "It has one of the most varied coral reefs, the largest turtle and the smallest snake in the world which lives in the drain."

He said WWF-Malaysia had raised RM6.2mil up to June to fund its conservation work. Under the initiative of the state, WWF-Malaysia and the Fisheries Department, eight students and their respective schools adopted eight female adult hawksbills.

Pupils in the Alor Gajah district had competed among one another in the Name the Turtle Competition. The top eight students who came out with the best names were given the turtles to adopt.

The best turtle name, Sri Melaka, was given by Nurul Amirah Md Yusof from SK Othman Syawal, followed by Lembayung Senja by Nurain Afiqah Zolkefli from SK Kem Terendak 2, Sri Kemunting by Nurul Aamira Haifaa Ashraf (SK Othman Syawal) and Si Muncung by Muhammed Musteqeem Hamka (SK Kem Terendak 1). Others were Intan by Nurul Ain Tahar (SK Sg Tuang), Permata by Syafira Suhaimi (SK Kuala Linggi), Alissa by Amir Ashraf (SK Tg Bidara) and Lela Manja by Siti Maisarah Mazlan Hamid (SK Kg Tengah).

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