EVENTS & NEWS
Honorary Wildlife Warden Training
On 6th – 8th November 2012, Reef Guardian hosted an Honorary Wildlife Warden Training conducted by officers from Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) at Reef Guardian site office, Lankayan Island. Four staffs from Reef Guardian, three from Lankayan Island Dive Resort, and one from Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort attended the training. The training was also joined by 12 participants enlisted by WWF-Malaysia (Kudat), which consisted of two WWF-Malaysia (Kudat) staffs, and 10 representatives from commercial fishers and community from Kudat area. Six participants, where three of them were from Reef Guardian and one from LIDR, passed the training and they were certified as Honorary Wildlife Warden.
National Geographic Filming at Lankayan Island
Lankayan Island was chosen to be featured in the National Geographic show under the title “Malaysia from Below”. The 4-day filming by Scubazoo production on 13th – 16th October 2012 featured on the unique underwater creatures around Lankayan Island and the conservation efforts that are being carried out by Reef Guardian. Reef Guardian representative, Achier Chung provided the screen guide the introduction of radar tracking system to assist in the enforcement of SIMCA and being a dive buddy to UK presenter Nick Baker to show the beauty of Lankayan reefs after years of protection from illegal fishing.
Hatchery III Construction
Due to the increase of turtle nests during the nesting peak season from year to year. Reef Guardian has built another turtle hatchery, which can accommodate approximately 90-100 nests. Construction work on the hatchery commenced in July and fully completed in the middle of September 2012.
Research Presentation at the International Coral Reef Symposium
Reef Guardian’s lead marine biologist, Achier Chung presented her preliminary finding of her study on “Possible Spawning Aggregation of Plectropomus leopardus at Lankayan Island, Malaysia” at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairn from 9th-13th July 2012. In her oral presentation, she mentions that the protection of SIMCA since 2001 have allowed recovery of Plectropomus leopardus populations and possible of reformed spawning aggregation. Manuscript of this presentation is available online at ICRS webpage at http://www.ocrs2012.com/Proceedings.html
Coral Spawning Monitoring
Reef Guardian began to monitor coral spawning events at SIMCA in 2012. This was done by placing cups over corals from the month of March to May 2012 to trap eggs that were released by the corals. The main objective of the monitoring is to provide information on the timing and extent of period of mass coral spawning.
Juvenile Sea Turtles Release
On 20th March 2012, three juvenile sea turtles (2 Hawksbill turtles and 1 Green turtle) were released at Lankayan Isalnd by Yang Berhormat Datuk Shamsudin Yahya (political leader of Elopura Division) and witnessed by Sabah Wildlife Department officers from Sandakan branch, Wildlife Rescue Team, reporter and in-house guests. These sea turtles was caught and captivated in fish pond by villagers at Lahad Datu before this was reported to Sabah Wildlife Department. The turtles were transported on land to Sandakan with the assistance from Wildlife Rescue Team on 19th March 2012 and they were then sent to Lankayan Island on the next day. The carapace length and width were measured and tag metals were applied to these turtles.
Beach Cleanups at Lankayan
A series of beach cleanups were conducted from the month of January until February 2012. During the north-east monsoon season, it’s often to see logs floating nearby or stranded at Lankayan beach or shoreline. All the staffs from Reef Guardian and LIDR worked together to pick up all trashes and removed these logs on the beach.