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. The project involves the purchase of river terrapin eggs from local egg collectors, incubation of the eggs and head-starting the hatchlings for release. All the terrapins are microchipped for individual identification before release. 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.

Involving the local community in the conservation of the critically-endangered River Terrapin in the Setiu River, Terengganu

Through this project, we were able to train Kazlina bt. Mat Ali, a local villager to incubate river terrapin eggs and observe the incubation process. Kazlina and her teenage daughter were also trained to weigh, measure and head-start the river terrapin hatchlings before the latter were released

Determining the performance of head-started River Terrapin in the Setiu River, Terengganu

Head-started river terrapins released into the Setiu River were microchipped to enable us to monitor their growth in the wild. Terrapins that were caught in fishermen’s nets were scanned for microchip IDs, weighed and measured. Our results indicate that the head-started terrapins were able to survive in the wild and achieved body weight gains of up to 7 kg and increase in carapace length of 22 cm over a period of 5 years.


We are looking for collaborators who are passionate, hard-working, proactive, results oriented, love good science and enjoy working with the local communities. There is much potential for turtle research in Malaysia but not enough scientists/students studying them! If you have a project in mind and would like to collaborate with us, we are happy to discuss it further with you!