Here on Koh Tao we are lucky enough to the chance to see Sea Turtles during your diving or snorkelling. There are only 7 different species of Sea Turtle left on the planet and the majority of those species are threatened with extinction. Here we mainly see the species of Hawksbill and Green Turtle, and so as a community we have started to ID and track our local turtles.
They have just hit 800 observations on the database which is fantastic and has really helped improve the quality this year. With some of the sightings showing a return of some individuals, a total of over 100 Turtles being recorded around the island.
While undoubtedly Koh Tao is an important location for turtles, we definitely need more input from outside the one little island. While the good news is that the database is growing and our understanding is improving (such as Betty, found by professional videographer Elisabeth Lauwerys as the first resident of Mango Bay in our records).
Unfortunately A quarter of all our Green Turtle recorded were found dead, even more if you include turtles that had to be rescued and/or sent to Chumphorn for hopeful recovery. Emphasizing more and more the importance for recording any sightings.
By taking a clear picture of the head on both sides, and a picture of the entire turtle, using a algarythim for the scutes on the face and combining that with any clear marking on the shell. The individual can be recorded in to database, as a new or returning individual.
We then add the pictures to the Koh Tao Turtle Facebook page, from there they are added to the database. Koh Tao Turtles
If your interested in learning more about Sea Turtles and how to identify the different species you could ask about the SSI Turtle Ecology course we offer.SSI Sea Turtle Ecology