Green turtle

Green Turtle
Green turtle

A post-nesting green turtle photographed in the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary, Redang Island.
Photo credit: Jeremy Liew.

Common name: Green turtle
Scientific name: Chelonia mydas
Local Malaysian Name: Penyu agar / Penyu pulau

Conservation status: Listed as endangered in the 2009 IUCN Red List and in CITES Appendix I

Adult shell length: 90 – 110 cm
Adult body weight: 110 – 180 kg

Colour: Olive-green to brown and black

Food: Mostly sea grass and seaweeds, occasionally jellyfish

Range: Tropical oceans

Nesting sites in Malaysia: Sabah and Sarawak Turtle Islands, Terengganu (mainland beaches and islands of Redang, Perhentian, Tenggol and Kapas), Pahang (mainland beaches and Tioman Island), Perak (Segari).

The following reproductive data on green turtles has been generated from 15 years (1993 – 2007) of saturation tagging research carried out by E.H. Chan in the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary, Redang Island:

Number of clutches deposited per individual per season: Range of 1 – 12, average of 5 – 6 clutches
Inter-nesting interval (interval between each nesting event): Range of 9 – 12 days, average of 10
Number of eggs per clutch: Range of 30 – 160, average of 100
Nesting frequency between seasons: 3 – 5 years

The long distance post-nesting migratory behaviour of green turtles in the Chagar Hutang Sanctuary by H.C. Liew, E.H. Chan and co-researchers has been studied using satellite telemetry.  The turtles were found to travel distances of 700-1,750 km across the South China Sea to resident feeding grounds located in the Philippines, Sabah and Indonesia.