Nesting Habitat & Egg Protection | WWF Malaysia

Nesting Habitat & Egg Protection

Hawksbill turtles feed off sponges amongst the corals. rel=
Hawksbill turtles feed off sponges amongst the corals.
© WWF-Malaysia/Jack Jackson

Largest nesting congregation in Peninsular Malaysia

Regarded by many as the most beautiful of all marine turtles, due to the striking pattern of their shell, hawksbill turtles have been visiting Malacca’s beaches every year to nest. This population is significant as it is the largest nesting congregation in Peninsular Malaysia numbering some 200 to 300 nests every year. DNA research has shown that they are a genetically different stock from the populations in Terengganu and Sabah.

States Average no. of nests/year
Sabah Turtle Islands 500 - 600
Melaka 200 - 300
Johor Islands 50 - 100
Terengganu less than 20

Not much is known about the hawksbills in Malacca. Not much has been studied. The earliest record of its nesting was in 1975 at Tanjung Kling. The earliest conservation effort began in 1987 when the Department of Fisheries Malacca set up the first turtle hatchery to protect eggs from being over-harvested for human consumption.

Protecting habitats and promoting management of Malacca’s Hawksbills
WWF-Malaysia’s goal is to protect and manage the hawksbill turtle population of Malacca and their key habitats, through scientific and socially acceptable measures that can be sustained in the long-term by government, local communities, and other stakeholders. WWF-Malaysia is working in partnership with Department of Fisheries Malaysia to:
  • Facilitate the establishment and strengthening of protected habitats (nesting, foraging)
  • Raise the awareness of local communities whose lives are interlinked with the hawksbills and engage their participation towards protection of this species
  • Reduce the illegal trade of turtle eggs
  • Promote ratification to regional and international agreements, hence enhancing regional co-operation and information sharing