Status of sea turtle in Thai Waters

The Gulf of Thailand

According to the report of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources in 2007, There were about 400 adult male and female turtles found near Ko Kram of Chonburi Province. The dominant species was green turtle, followed by Hawksbill turtle. During 2009 – 2010, no olive ridley and leatherback turtle were found in the Gulf of Thailand. In Ko Kram of Chonburi Province, approximately 550 adults of green turtle and hawksbill turtle were found each year.  Some turtle comes back to nest within one period for five times; the interval of each time of nesting is about 10 – 12 days. In 2009, 502 nests were found in Thailand, 387 of which were found in the Gulf of Thailand that is accounted for 70% of all nests. During 2009, nesting ground of sea turtles in Prachub Khiri Khan, Chumporn, and Surat Thani Province were additionally found (Table).  In 2010, there was a report of finding green and hawksbill turtle around the beaches of Chonburi Province such as Ao Na Chomtian, Ao Banglamung, Ko Kram, Ao Bang Sare, and Ao Same Sarn—especially in Ko Kram where the nesting of 10 adult female sea turtles were found.

  

The Andaman Sea

Green turtle is the dominant species in the Andaman Sea but olive ridley turtle and leatherback turtle are rarely found and hawksbill turtle are not found in this area. During 1960 – 1962, Olive ridley and leatherback turtles were nested along Had Tai Muang of Phang Nga Province with more than 400 nests each year. Unfortunately, during the year 1990 – 1992,  only 20 – 40 nests were found.  According to Kanchana et al. in 1997 who did the aerial surveys in eight study sites in Phang Nga, Krabi, Tang, and Satun, it revealed that green turtle was found in Ban Tha Len of Krabi Province and in Ko Sa Rai of Satun Province. Hawksbill Turtle was found only in Ban Tha len. In 2007, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources reported that 120 mature sea turtle were found to be nest along te beach of Ko Similan, Ko Surin, Had Tai Muang, of Phang Nga Province and Ko Phuket. The population was dominated by green turtle, while the olive ridley turtle and leatherback turtles are also found, and only hawksbill turtle was not found in this area. Generally, the turtle’s population can be estimated base on the number of nests—the total nest found in Thai Waters  in 2009 was 502 and 115 of which were found in the Andaman Sea; in 2010, only 101 nests were found that reflects to the decline of sea turtle’s population comparing with the number of 2009 as shown in Table .

   

Table The summary of number of turtles’ nest in the Gulf of Thailand in 2009

Provinces

Nesting Areas

Number of turtles’ nest

Green turtles

Hawksbill turtles

Leatherback turtles

Olive ridley turtles

Total

Chonburi

Ko Kram

188

125

-

-

313

Prachuab Khiri Khan

Ko Tha Lu

-

4

-

-

4

Had Laem Koom of Tab Sakae District

1

-

-

-

1

Chumporn

Ao Thong Sai of Lang Suan District

-

1

-

-

1

Surat Thani

Ko Tao

5

-

-

-

5

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Ko Kra

38

25

-

-

63

Total

232

155

0

0

387

Source: Database of Marine and Coastal Resources, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Retrieved from http://www.dmcr.go.th/marinecenter/, accessed on 5 December 2012

 

Table The summary of number of turtles’ nest in the Andaman Sea in 2009 - 2010 

Provinces

Nesting grounds

Years of survey

Number of turtles’ nest

Green turtles

Hawksbill turtles

Leatherback turtles

Olive ridley turtles

Total

Phang Nga

Ko Similan

2009

85

-

-

-

85

2010

29

-

-

-

29

Ko Surin

2009

9

-

-

-

9

2010

12

-

-

-

12

Ko Pra Thong

2009

9

-

-

-

9

Had Tai Maung

2009

1

-

1

-

2

Western coast of Phang Nga

2010

12

-

2

4

18

Phuket

Had Ra Yan

2009

2

-

-

-

2

Western Coast of Phuket

2010

-

-

2

-

2

Krabi

Ko Lanta Yai

2009

-

-

-

1

1

Ko Mai Phai

2009

2

-

-

-

2

Satun

Ko Sa Rai

2009

2

-

-

-

2

Ko Ardang

2009

3

-

-

-

3

2010

30

-

-

-

30

Ko Tarutao

2010

10

-

-

-

10

Total

2009

113

0

1

1

115

2010

93

0

4

4

101

Source: Database of Marine and Coastal Resources, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Retrieved from http://www.dmcr.go.th/marinecenter/, accessed on 5 December 2012

 

According to the report on status of Marine and Coastal Resource in 2007 – 2011, the status of sea turtles in Thailand can be concluded as the followings.   

The nesting areas of green and hawksbill sea turtles were found in the Eastern Gulf of Thailand including the coast of Ko Samed, Ko Koodi, Ko Thalu, Ko Man Nok, and Ko Mannai of Rayong Province (about 10 nests per years) and Ko Kram and nearby islands of Chonburi Province (about 120 – 160 nests per year). However, the nesting areas were not found in the Upper Gulf of Thailand. In the Central Gulf of Thailand, the nesting areas of green and hawksbill sea turtles were found in Had Tab Sakae and Ko Thalu of Prachuab Khiri Khan (about  2-13 nests per year), Ko Thang Lang of Chumporn Province (about 1-5 nests per year), and Ko Tao of Surat Thani Province (about 1-5 nests per year). Besides, they were also found in Ko Kra of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province about 30-40 nests per year. These number of sea turtle’s nest is quite steady.

In the Andaman Sea, the nesting areas of four sea turtles species including green, hawksbill, olive ridley, and leatherback sea turtles were found in the upper part of the Andaman Sea covering Had Prapas of Ranong Province (1-5 nests per year), Mo Ko Similan, Mo Ko Surin, Ko Tachai, Ko Prathong, and Ko Ko Koa of Phang Nga Province (65-90 nests per year), Had Mai Khao and Had Bang Thao of Phuket Province (1-5 nests per year). The number of nests has tended to decline especially in the western coasts of Phang Nga and Phuket. While, only three sea turtles species including green, hawksbill, and leatherback sea turtles were found to nest in Mo Ko Tarutao, Ardang-Rawi of Satun Province (8-12 nests per year), Ko Mai Phai of Krabi Province (1-5 nests per year) (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, 2555b).