Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strange bird, sea turtle hatchlings released on protected Indonesian beach

Date:
March 13, 2014
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Working on a remote and protected beach in Indonesia, conservationists recently celebrated the release of rare animal hatchlings into the wild, part of a plan to save the olive ridley sea turtle and an extraordinary bird called the maleo. “The joint release of maleos and olive ridleys on the same day is a boost to the conservation of both species in Sulawesi,” said the scientists. “The protection of the beachfront lands which are critical nesting grounds for both species will help safeguard this part of Indonesia’s natural heritage.”

Working on a remote and protected beach in Indonesia, conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and PALS—a local partner organization—recently celebrated the release of rare animal hatchlings into the wild, part of a plan to save the olive ridley sea turtle and an extraordinary bird called the maleo.

On February 23 on Sulawesi’s Binerean Cape, conservation managers released two newly hatched maleo chicks, which quickly flew into the forest, and 34 newly hatched olive ridley sea turtles, which crawled into the sea. All hatchlings emerged from protected nests on a 950-meter beach that is now owned and managed by PALS (Pelestari Alam Liar dan Satwa, or Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation).

“The joint release of maleos and olive ridleys on the same day is a boost to the conservation of both species in Sulawesi,” said Noviar Andayani, Country Director for WCS’s Indonesia Program and participant in the Maleo Conservation Project. “The protection of the beachfront lands which are critical nesting grounds for both species will help safeguard this part of Indonesia’s natural heritage.”

The hatchling release comes soon after the October 2013 purchase of the Binerean beach site from various land owners by PALs with the assistance of WCS and donors. The goal of the acquisition: to protect nesting grounds for threatened species and a wider range of species sharing the same habitat. In addition to land purchases, the project recruits both local rangers and even former maleo hunters to guard nests from egg poachers.

The most threatened of the beach nesters—the maleo—is a chicken-sized bird with a black helmet (or casque), yellow facial skin, a red-orange beak and a nesting strategy more reptilian than avian. After burying their eggs in sun-baked beaches or, in some instances, volcanically heated soil, the maleo parents abandon their nest. After an incubation period of approximately 70 days, the chicks emerge fully feathered, able to fly and fend for themselves.

The maleo’s entire range is limited to the islands of Sulawesi and Buton, and the estimated population numbers 8,000-14,000 mature individual birds (4,000-7,000 breeding pairs). The bird is listed as Endangered on the IUCN’s Red List and is threatened by egg harvesting and habitat loss.

Nest abandonment is normal for sea turtles such as the olive ridley, one of three threatened sea turtle species known to nest on the Binerean Cape area. Weighing up to 100 pounds, the olive ridley is one of the smallest sea turtle species. Although widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical seas of the world, the olive ridley turtle is still listed as Vulnerable on IUCN’s Red List. The species is threatened by egg harvesting and direct hunting.

“The round-the-clock monitoring of maleo and sea turtle nests on this protected beach prevents the exploitation of these species, a threat that still frequently occurs at other sites,” said Dr. Peter Clyne, Deputy Director of WCS’s Asia Program. “We hope to extend the program to adjacent coastal areas and perhaps other sites where these species still persist.”

In addition to conservation efforts in the field, WCS also works to conserve maleos at its Bronx Zoo headquarters, where curators have successfully reared maleo chicks by recreating the specialized conditions needed for successful reproduction and incubation.

The project managers thank the following contributors: Heidi and Harvey Bookman, and the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Fund of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Strange bird, sea turtle hatchlings released on protected Indonesian beach." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313172943.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2014, March 13). Strange bird, sea turtle hatchlings released on protected Indonesian beach. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313172943.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Strange bird, sea turtle hatchlings released on protected Indonesian beach." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313172943.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins