iNEST Monitoring System

(iSCADA-based Natural Environment Sensor Terminal)

An environmentally friendly technology system for the continuous temperature profiling of sea turtle egg clutches during incubation

 

A research collaboration between SEATRU, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and Devices World, with sponsors from Bangsar Village and the Village Grocer (2013 – present).

Above: The iNEST monitoring devices installed at Chagar Hutang to monitor nests under incubation (Photo credit: Pah Pin Shang)

The sand environment plays an important role in determining hatching success rates and the sex of hatchlings produced. This is because the sex of sea turtles, as in many reptiles is determined by incubation temperature. Monitoring incubation temperatures and understanding the mechanism and ecology of temperature-dependent sex determination is crucial for the continued success of sea turtle populations. Changing incubation temperatures, like Global Warming, can change the gender ratio of sea turtles and threaten whole populations of sea turtles. Other environmental factors like sand humidity can also influence hatching success rates and their susceptibility to infection by fungus and attack by roots and other predators.

In the late 1990’s, SEATRU scientists had conducted research to investigate the sex ratios of hatchlings produced through the in-situ nest incubation. Results obtained suggested that the conservation program produced a balanced sex ratio of 3 female to 1 male. Since then, sand incubation temperatures were rarely recorded at Chagar Hutang. With this collaboration and the use of state-of-the-art technology, SEATRU is hoping to obtain in greater detail the temperature profiles and humidity of nests incubated at Chagar Hutang. These data are important to ensure the success of the long-term conservation effort to save the sea turtles of Redang Island

The iNEST system is a unique development of the iSCADA system that Devices World created. It is an environmentally friendly, non-intrusive, monitoring system that runs off solar power. The iNEST boxes will have solar panels which will be connected to environmentally friendly batteries that powers the iSCADA junction boxes and panels which collects data from the sensors (temperature, humidity and motion sensors).

A photo essay about the research prepared by Devices World can be found at: Chagar Hutang Photo Essay

 

Research updates:

March 2013: Installation of the first set of the iNEST monitoring devices and field tests

April – Aug 2013: Modification and improvement of devices, so that it can be used properly on the nesting beach.

September 2013: Installation of wireless internet broadband at Chagar Hutang. Data can be obtained in real time. However due to lack of solar power, the transmission will be cut off especially at night. Improvement of solar power will be done next year as the monsoon season is approaching.

October 2013: Compilation and analyzing data collected using the iNEST monitoring System. Research will be continued again in 2014.

 

Sponsors