Four turtle species are discovered in the islands called Pepaya, Mas and Raja islands located in the Sumalata waters in North Gorontalo.
The four turtle species found in the locations are locally known as "penyu hijau" (chelonia mydas), "penyu sisik" (eretmochelys imbricate), "penyu tempayan" (Caretta caretta) and "penyu belimbing" (dermochelys coriacea).
There are only seven turtle species in the world and four of them are found in the islands.
According to Ismail Kulupani, the forest ranger of the islands, the biggest threat on the turtles is illegal poaching besides fish bombing activities.
The islands have been named a nature reserve since the Dutch colonial time in 1936. "A lot of coral reefs where the food for the turtles come from have been damaged," he said.
He said the islands have so far received minimum attention from the local government or media attention. He said the local government had even once proposed changing the islands into a tourism area.
"This means a lot of officials are still not aware of the importance of nature reserve," he said.