10 Dec

Press Release: CIRCUS Turtoices (Turtle Voices)

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Turtle is one of the protected animals. In the world there are 7 types of turtles and 6 of them are found in Indonesia. A number of regions in Indonesia is becoming very important areas for the breeding of several species of turtles1. However, the presence of turtles in Indonesia is increasingly threatened. The conservation agency of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), includes leatherback turtles and hawksbill turtles as critically endangered animals. While green turtles, olive ridley turtles and loggerhead turtles are classified as endangered species2. Some of the factors contributing to the decline of a number of turtle species are climate change, habitat loss to lay eggs, destruction of coastal ecosystems and, most important, hunting for the trading of shell and even for consumption.

Because of there are many problems about turtles in Indonesia, IFSA LC UGM initiated to hold he 1st Creative Discussion (CIRCUS) entitled Turtoices: Turtle Voices that discussed about the existence of turtle in Indonesia. In this event, IFSA LC UGM invited 2 speakers, namely Mr. Y. Andie Chandra H., S.Hut, M.Sc from BKSDA (Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam) and Rudjito as Chairman of Turtle Conservation Forum in Samas, Bantul. Both speakers gave different views on turtles conservation.

Mr. Andie Chandra explained that there are 4 species of turtles in Yogyakarta Province (DIY) that is green turtles, olive ridley turtles, hawksbill turtles and leatherback turtles. He also explained how the history of the Turtle Conservation Forum built in Samas Bantul was pioneered by Mr. Rudjito. Finally he explained about the efforts made by BKSDA in preventing the illegal sale and consumption of turtles, such as providing information boards along Parangtritis Street containing appeals, sanctions along with fines for turtle hunters. However, the board is meaningless if the public does not care about it.

Mr. Rudjito focused more on his past experience as a sea turtle consumer. However, he realized and began to do turtles conservation traditionally until he built the Turtle Conservation Forum which was assisted by BKSDA. He also explained about the methods undertaken in the conservation of turtles at the time. The method used is the manual way by using the help from nature such as the typical wind smell signifies the turtle will lay eggs, then in the turtle eggs to be cultivated to wait for the parent back to the sea first and so on. This is due to the unavailability of facilities and infrastructure to support these conservation activities.

So based on the material that had been conveyed by the two speakers, the problem of the existence of turtles in Indonesia, especially in the D. I. Yogyakarta needs attention from all of the stakeholder such as government, societynd the students. Simply way to gain people awareness is using social media to share information about turtles. Keeping the sea and beach clean for the turtles is also the best way to conserve them.

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