The Derawan or Berau archipelago off eastern Borneo, Indonesia was once a veritable paradise for sea turtles. This area, once containing one of the world's largest populations of green sea turtle, has been decimated by turtle hunting and egg collecting, reducing the population by over 90%. Although illegal since 1999, these destructive activities usually go unchecked unless concrete measures are taken.
The Turtle Foundation has been active in the protection of sea turtles in the Derawan archipelago for over 10 years. We have a presence on three islands with permanently occupied ranger stations with 18 personnel trained and hired from the local population. The illegal plundering of eggs on these islands has now been completely stopped. Since our protection measures have been in place, more than 5 million baby turtles have been allowed to hatch which would otherwise never have reached the sea!
These successes would not have been possible without the many friends and supporters of the Turtle Foundation, because the work takes not only time but also is very costly. The local employees must be supplied and paid, boats for the transportation of employees to secluded islands must be purchase, maintained, and fueled, and the three ranger stations must be provisioned and maintained. To ensure the sustainability of the turtle protection and to allow recovery of the local population, this work will have to continue for decades.
Continuing this protection activity will not only benefit the turtles, but all other creatures, including the human population, that depend on the marine and coastal ecosystems. We are also working on educational programs and alternative income opportunities for local people. At present, our activities protect about 75% of the sea turtle nests laid in the Derawan Archipelago from theft. For the successful continuation and expansion of the program, we need your help. Thank you very much for your interest and your donation! Please inform yourself about our non-profit organization and our projects on www.turtle-foundation.org.