Res­cued tur­tles go back to the sea

Midwest Times - - NEWS -

While the tur­tle nest­ing sea­son has re­cently ended for the Mid West, the De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife is re­mind­ing any­one who finds adult tur­tles washed ashore to re­port them to Wild­care.

Two res­cued sea tur­tles were re­leased from Ex­mouth this month af­ter suc­cess­ful re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Ro­man the log­ger­head and Uber the green tur­tle were re­turned to the ocean on March 9 thanks to some quick care from lo­cal and State con­ser­va­tion groups.

Ro­man had been found in early March on Cheynes Beach, Al­bany, hav­ing suf­fered from ex­po­sure to the cold wa­ters.

DPaW regional of­fi­cer Cameron Craigie said ju­ve­nile log­ger­heads were of­ten very small, hatch­ing at about 10cm long from WA’s north­ern beaches in April and May.

“We be­lieve the strong cur­rent car­ried this in­di­vid­ual all the way down to Al­bany,” he said.

Ro­man was taken to Perth Zoo for treat­ment be­fore com­plet­ing his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion at the Aquar­ium of WA.

Uber was found in Ex­mouth last year suf­fer­ing from buoy­ancy is­sues, and taken into care by mem­bers of Ex­mouth Wildlife CARE group, who sta­bilised him be­fore he was trans­ferred to Perth Zoo for fur­ther treat­ment.

While tur­tles nor­mally have some con­trol over their buoy­ancy, an in­fec­tion pre­vented Uber from be­ing able to swim prop­erly, which is how he ended up washed ashore.

Thank­fully a course of broad­spec­trum an­tibi­otics and a lit­tle bit of time to re­cover fixed him up just fine.

Uber fin­ished his treat­ment at Bun­bury Dol­phin Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre.

Dr Craigie said the en­dan­gered log­ger­head and the vul­ner­a­ble green tur­tle rep­re­sented two of the six species of ma­rine tur­tles found off the WA coast.

Ro­man has been fit­ted with a satel­lite tracker, and can be fol­lowed on his jour­ney across the oceans on­line at sea­tur­tle.org/track­ing.

Pil­bara re­gion ma­rine con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer Joanne King said tag­ging was im­por­tant to iden­tify in­di­vid­ual ma­rine tur­tles and de­ter­mine their suc­cess once re­leased into the wild.

“This in­for­ma­tion could be de­ter­mined when they come back to nest, are sighted in their for­ag­ing grounds or are found de­ceased,” she said.

“Long-term projects such as this are im­por­tant as tur­tles have a com­plex life cy­cle and trends in pop­u­la­tion num­bers can be de­tected over decades, thereby im­prov­ing man­age­ment of this threat­ened species.”

Any­one who finds a tur­tle washed up on a beach should call the Wild­care helpline on 9474 9055.

Uber the green sea tur­tle was re­leased a lit­tle fur­ther in­land than Ro­man, but quickly swam out to sea.

Ro­man the log­ger­head re­turns to the ocean with a satel­lite tracker that will give us new in­sights into tur­tle mi­gra­tion. Pictures: DPaW

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