Pom Pom Island Resort Sea Turtle Conservation Program

Hello Pom Pom Lovers,

You may have already heard about our sea turtle conservation program 🙂

Sea turtles are under threat in the world’s oceans and are officially listed as threatened by IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature). Pom Pom Island is an important nesting and feeding sites for Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). Here, sea turtles nest year-round with a peak from June to September. Sea turtles are protected in Sabah, but unfortunately, poaching of turtle eggs is still a big threat to turtle populations.

Our conservation team in association with WWF and Sabah Wildlife Department works to protect these beautiful creatures and their eggs. Every night we patrol the island to find sea turtles and their nests. When we find a sea turtle on the beach we tag it! There are many reasons why we tag turtles. By tagging turtles with small numbered titanium flipper tags, we can study their migration patterns, estimate how many turtles are currently living in the area and know which ones are nesting and where they are foraging. These data are then used to improve monitoring plans and conservation strategies. When we find a sea turtle nests we protect it!

Often, we need to relocate the nests, mainly to avoid the poaching, that unfortunately still occurs in this area, despite sea turtle are protected in Sabah!

In collaboration with the amazing Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF, we created 2 sea turtle hatcheries in our resort 🙂 🙂

When a sea turtle nest needs to be relocated, our conservation staff take great care to create a nest nearly identical to the original. Once all of the relevant nest data are collected (e.g. size and depth of the nest), they will move the eggs to our hatcheries. The conservation team will dig a nest that has the same measurements as the first nest and carefully replace the eggs into the nest. Then it’s a 60-75 day wait for the hatching to begin. Once the baby turtles hatch, we release them into the turquoise Celebes sea.

After about two-three weeks, the marine biologist excavates the sea turtle nests to collect data document such findings as unhatched eggs, hatched shells, broken eggs and stranded live hatchlings.

We also started a cool Sea Turtle Identification program, and you can contribute! Sea turtle facial pattern is UNIQUE! Our marine biologist dives to code and identifies sea turtles, studying population density and distribution.

Would you like to contribute? Contact us at [email protected] for more information!