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Little Princess, the amazing hawksbill that nests in Chagar Hutang

This is the story of Little Princess, the amazing hawksbill that was first tagged by us when we started the tagging program in 1993. In that year, four hawksbills were recorded to have nested in Chagar Hutang. One of them (ID 1993H004) has shown remarkable nesting re-migrations in the next 15 years, as shown in the record below:

1993: First tagged and laid 3 nests
1996: First re-migration, laid 6 nests
1999: Second re-migration, laid 5 nests
2001: Third re-migration, laid 4 nests
2004: Fourth re-migration, laid 4 nests
2006: Fifth re-migration, laid 2 nests
2008: Sixth re-migration and has laid 3 nests so far

Little Princess was named in 1999 by a group of volunteer students who had adopted her. In 2001, we deployed a satellite transmitter on her and successfully tracked her by satellite ARGOS to her feeding grounds. The tracking project was funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service. NOAA, U.S.A.

The second picture of Little Princess was taken on 1st May 2008 when she ascended Chagar Hutang to lay her second clutch of eggs for the season (Photo credit: Pei Yee).

Not all the hawksbills that nest in Chagar Hutang have shown the remarkable remigration exhibited by Little Princess as shown in the remigration records given in the table below:

PresidentTan Sri Dr. Salleh Mohd. Nor
Vice PresidentDr. Chan Eng Heng
SecretaryChen Pelf Nyok
Assistant SecretaryLim Puay Aun
TreasurerWee Seng Whatt
Ordinary Committee Members1. Chan Wai Kee
2. Jasmine Steed
3. Lim Xin Yu
4. Loretta Ann Shepherd

Of the four hawksbill turtles that were tagged in 1993, two of them (1993H001 and 1993H002) remigrated only once to Chagar Hutang for a subsequent nesting season and were never seen again in later years. 1993H003 remigrated to Chagar Hutang three times, with her last nesting season in 2002. What has happened to these individuals? Are they still living, or have they succumbed to the many threats that they face in the oceans?

The third picture shows Little Princess photographed in the morning with Slot H volunteers on 18th May 2008 in Chagar Hutang as she was returning to the sea after having successfully laid 162 eggs in her third nest for the season.

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