Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223597
Title: AN INTEGRATED CONSERVATION STRATEGY FOR THE LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE IN MENTAWAI ISLAND, INDONESIA
Authors: ANINDYA PRIMA HADI
Keywords: Environmental Management
MEM
Master (Environmental Management)
Study Report (MEM)
2019/2020 EnvM
Huang Danwei
M.Sc. (Environmental Management)
Issue Date: 7-Jan-2021
Citation: ANINDYA PRIMA HADI (2021-01-07). AN INTEGRATED CONSERVATION STRATEGY FOR THE LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE IN MENTAWAI ISLAND, INDONESIA. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The Mentawai Islands contain some of the most important turtle nesting sites in the western part of Indonesia. Marine conservation in this area is complex because risks against natural turtle populations transcend the natural system and are deeply entangled with the activities and traditions of human communities along the coasts. The isolated villages close to the nesting beaches such as in Sipora Island often engage in destructive fishing activities, lack livelihood alternatives, have inadequate education systems and are deficient in law enforcement. As an important nesting site that could boost populations of the Indian Ocean leatherback sea turtle, conservation strategies developed for Sipora Island must therefore meet local community needs and capacity, and generally be adapted to the socio-cultural circumstances. In this study, I perform spatial analysis on shoreline movement to detect coastal erosion, as well as vegetation loss analysis to estimate land clearance approaching the nesting beach. Results show that coastal zoning needs to be done in order to preserve the turtle nesting sites and mitigate impacts to particular natural habitats due to ongoing and impending sea-level rise and coastal erosion. Furthermore, socio-cultural factors has also led the local communities to consume more than 20 sea turtles during each cultural ceremony. Poaching of eggs which are used as a payment instrument for daily needs exacerbates the losses and contributes to population decline. In order to reduce these threats, community outreach and education programmes need to be established based on a deeper understanding of their traditions. Habitat rehabilitation has also become an urgent necessity due to ongoing plastic pollution at the nesting beach, among others, that could interrupt nesting and hatchling activities. It is clear that government intervention is needed in the form of marine protected area improvements and enforcement to avoid more damage to the coral reef and nesting habitats from coral and sand mining, and the use of unsustainable fishing gear. Edu-ecotourism which does not require the translocation of eggs and hatchlings so as to boost the “natal homing” of the sea turtles is also one alternative that can be established to create additional income while still conserving ecosystem services for the local people. Besides being a sustainable conservation strategy, such a programme is expected to reduce poaching activity, sand mining and the egg trade because this will generate an alternative income for the community. Although the sea turtles are protected under national laws, measures arising from these laws cannot stand alone in preventing unsustainable harvesting of the sea turtles because customs and traditions that threaten natural populations play an important role in the community. Thus, for better law and regulation enforcement, government regulations need to consider and account for customary law and traditions. Overall, this study report has examined in detail the issues, challenges and the most possible and suitable integrative conservation strategies for the leatherback sea turtle population at Sipora Island. Solutions built from several possible action plans and suggestions presented here could facilitate sustainable use of marine resources in the Mentawai Islands.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223597
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