Help Save Our Terrapins!

As a non-governmental organisation, we are constantly raising funds to support the increasing number of research, conservation and educational projects that the Society takes on. Help save our terrapins by making a donation. No amount is too small, and all contributions are tax-deductible.

Visit Us!

Our River Terrapin Conservation Centre hosts a hatchery where terrapin eggs are incubated; a head-starting pond where terrapin hatchlings are raised before their release; and a Turtle Gallery that houses numerous turtle shells, skeletons, bones, preserved specimens and educational posters.

Terrapin Independence Day

All the river terrapins that are hatched from our conservation project are released into the Kemaman River. The release is an annual public event celebrated on the first Saturday of October.

Shop With Us!

Our exclusive terrapin-themed batik is our signature merchandise, meticulously hand-printed by makciks in the small-and-medium industry. Our products (cosmetic bags, straw pouches, water bottle holders, etc.) are also handmade by local folks.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Kemaman River Terrapin Conservation Project

Our flagship river terrapin nesting and tagging study was initiated in 2011. To date, this community-based conservation project has saved more than 4,500 terrapin eggs from human consumption, and released close to 3,000 head-started terrapins into the Kemaman River.

Turtle Camps

We have conducted more than 90 Turtle Awareness Programmes a.k.a. Turtle Camps and have benefitted at least 4,500 rural students and their teachers. These Turtle Camps creates and spreads turtle conservation awareness among students and teachers, promote the change of attitudes, and provides them with an opportunity to be actively involved in turtle conservation.

TERRAPIN GUARDIANS

Our Terrapin Guardians are the backbone of the community-based terrapin conservation project in Kg.Pasir Gajah, Kemaman, Terengganu. All of them used to collect and consume river terrapin eggs but they are now our trusted Terrapin Guardians. They work tirelessly during the terrapin nesting season to collect as many eggs as possible for incubation. The project also hires Wazel to raise the terrapin hatchlings in our TCS River Terrapin Conservation Centre.

Wazel

Zul

FROM POACHERS TO PROTECTORS

COMPLETED PROJECTS

Preliminary Surveys to Assess Presence of River Terrapins in Pahang

To date, the presence of river terrapins in Peninsular Malaysia has only been documented in the states of Kedah, Perak and Terengganu. This project aims to provide a record and assessment of the presence, current nesting density and conservation status of river terrapins in Pahang.

Tracking the critically endangered Southern River Terrapin through eDNA

This project aims to develop an eDNA approach for detecting river terrapins in Malaysia. We successfully detected river terrapin eDNA from river samples taken from a site where turtles were known to be in the vicinity. This preliminary work suggests an eDNA approach could be a valuable tool for an effective conservation plan for the river terrapins across the region.

Tracking the Movements of a Post-Nesting River Terrapin

The objective of this study was to produce a tracking device that enabled GPS logging via a cellular network that could be used to track the movements of a post-nesting river terrapin without following the individual. Results from this study were used to leverage for the protection of more critical terrapin nesting habitats in the Kemaman River.

Setiu River Terrapin Recovery Project

This project was initiated in 2004 to rehabilitate the severely depleted population of river terrapins in the Setiu River. From 2004 to 2014, more than 2,400 terrapin eggs were incubated, and more than 1,300 hatchlings were released into the Setiu River.

Cross-Species Micro-satellite Amplification of River Terrapins

In this study, we attempted to amplify micro-satellite markers that had been designed for genetically closely-related species with the river terrapins. Micro-satellite is a popular genetic marker used by scientists in numerous biological studies (e.g. ecology, conservation, evolution etc.).

Elevate survival prospects for the critically endangered southern river terrapin of Terengganu

This project aims to provide a record and assessment of the current nesting density and conservation status of river terrapins in Terengganu, and to elucidate major threats to the species in the different river systems. We also aimed to involve and engage local communities in conserving the river terrapins.

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

Turtle Discovery Trip

Our one-day Turtle Discovery Trips are designed to give our guests a first-in-a-lifetime experience. By joining us, you will learn about turtles and turtle conservation efforts in Malaysia as well as get up-close with the critically endangered turtles!

Turtle Gallery in Kg. Pasir Gajah, Kemaman

In 2017, we were offered the use of the store room adjacent to the Kg. Pasir Gajah Community Hall. We converted the store room into a Turtle Gallery that houses numerous turtle shells and bones, preserved specimens, research equipments and educational posters. This Turtle Gallery now serves as our Education Centre.

TCS Wildlife Explorers

This TCS Wildlife Explorers Programme was launched in 2018 to expose primary school students to the Malaysian wildlife and the plight that they face. This programme also aims to expose the students and their teachers to current issues concerning wildlife populations in the country, e.g. poaching, illegal wildlife trade, etc.

Nature Discovery Trip

Back by popular demand! This 3D2N Nature Discovery Trip is perfect for school-going children and their parents, as well as corporate companies seeking to contribute to the environment. Participants will not only learn about turtles, fireflies and mangroves, you will also get to do a beach clean up, plant some mangroves and watch fireflies in the river!

Terrapin Independence Day

Our annual Terrapin Independence Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of October. Awareness activities are usually held prior to the release ceremony. For identification, head-started terrapin hatchlings are microchipped before they are released. Members of the public may symbolically adopt and release a river terrapin on that day.

Awareness Talks

We have been invited to give talks and conduct workshops with school students. We are based in Kemaman, Terengganu, but we will try out best to accommodate your schedule. If you would like us to specifically cover certain topics related to the environment, we would gladly oblige too.

MAKE A DONATION

Support the Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) in restoring depleted wild populations of freshwater turtles in the country. As a non-governmental organisation, we are constantly raising funds to support the increasing number of research, conservation and educational projects that the Society takes on. Your tax-deductible donations enable us to help save the critically endangered turtles in Malaysia. 

INTERNSHIP & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you are a graduate or undergraduate looking to gain hands-on experience doing conservation-related work in a non-profit in Malaysia, we offer internships that allow you to get a feel of what it is like working in conservation. As an intern, you will get exposure to real projects (managing wildlife and people) and gain real world experience. You will have the opportunity to learn new skills (writing, public speaking, fundraising, marketing, etc.), to see your projects go from start to finish, and yes, you are allowed to make mistakes!

WHAT OTHERS SAY

We highly recommend the Turtle Discovery Trip. We loved it! Thanks to Dr. Chen and her intern Tyng Tyng, their explanations were clear and in detail, we learned to protect this critically endangered species better.
I truly hope and wish to see more funds could be raised to support this noble work and bring on more awareness campaigns. Now my cheeky daughter could explain to me the differences between sea and freshwater turtles :)
Once again, thanks to TCS!
- Jocelyn Peixing, 2018

THANK YOU to Pelf and the team from the Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia! 
The presentations that you shared with the Year 6 students were insightful and pitched perfectly. They were engaging and interactive. You were able to answer their questions and linked their recent experiences to your talk perfectly! 
“Nature Club” also found your guidance invaluable – we have now changed the way we feed and care for our terrapins and tortoises!
We would love to have you back again! Thank you!
- Sharon Wellington, Vice Principal, The Alice Smith School, 2017

Pelf, you set the standard for educational tours, both informative and fun. Engaging too. Keep it up! Wish you every success! - Adeno Ong, 2016

SHOP WITH US

Terrapin-themed Batiks

These batiks are hand-printed by the makciks (ladies) in the small-and-medium industry. Available in single-print and multi-print.

Makan Set

These little pouches are handmade by a makcik from Kg. Pasir Gajah. She is also the mother of one of our Terrapin Guardians, Zul.

TCS 2019 Calendars

This 2019 Calendar features our award-winning community-based terrapin conservation project. It also includes environment days, so you won’t miss an important date!