PHANG NGA – Phang Nga has offered a reward of 100,000 baht to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the person or people who stole eggs of a leatherback turtle.
National park officials found traces of a leatherback turtle which had laid eggs on Thai Muang beach, Lam Kaen subdistrict, Thai Muang district, Phang Nga province, on the night of January 3, 2020. A thief stole most of the eggs from the nest of the rare turtle and the officials discovered the nest containing only two unviable eggs.
Phang Nga Governor ChamroenThipphayaphongthada disclosed that he had ordered the Thai Muang Chief District Officer, police officers and related agencies to expedite the search for the culprits for prosecution. The Sea Turtle Conservation Fund, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and local leaders have offered a reward of 100,000 baht to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of those reponsible.
The Governor of Phang Nga has called on people to preserve all types of sea turtles and stop collecting, selling and buying all kinds of turtle eggs.
Mr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, Deputy Dean for Special Affairs and Public Relations at Kasetsart University, who is an environmental activist, posted on Facebook saying that the leatherback turtle is a protected species in Thailand and that the Wildlife Protection Act imposes a 3-15 year prison sentence and a fine of between 300,000-1.5 million baht for the theft and/or illegal possession of its eggs. He has called on anyone who has any information on the theft to notify the Turtle Conservation Fund’s officials immediately.
He also said that leatherback turtles are among the rarest animals in Thai seas. None have been found alive during the last 5-6 years. Only their bodies with marine waste inside were found. Last year, more than 130 leatherback turtles were hatched. This year, leatherback turtles came ashore to nest twice and it is expected that about a hundred leatherback turtles resulted.