Chance to name a tur­tle

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Tur­tle sea­son is here and pro­vid­ing lots of ac­tiv­i­ties for re­searchers, vol­un­teers and oth­ers to get in­volved in.

Department of Parks and Wildlife marine sci­en­tists and vol­un­teers have start­ing tag­ging tur­tles on Theve­nard Is­land, 22km off the coast of Onslow, as part of a pi­lot pro­gram whereby the is­land culd be­come a long-term mon­i­tor­ing lo­ca­tion for the species.

The group will spend the next month col­lect­ing data, check­ing tur­tle tracks and tag­ging fe­male tur­tles as part of the North West Shelf Flat­back Tur­tle Con­ser­va­tion Pro­gram, which mon­i­tors North West Shelf flat­back tur­tles found off the Pil­bara and south-west Kim­ber­ley coasts.

Theve­nard Is­land project leader Sab­rina Fos­sette-Halot said the pro­gram would as­sess the size of flat­back tur­tles nest­ing on the is­land and tag fe­males to record their move­ments dur­ing and after nest­ing sea­son.

“The data will con­trib­ute to a broader un­der­stand­ing of the ecol­ogy and de­mog­ra­phy of the Pil­bara flat­back tur­tle stock,” she said.

Theve­nard Is­land, a 550ha na­ture re­serve, is an im­por­tant Pil­bara nest­ing site for flat­backs and green and hawks­bill tur­tles.

Flat­backs are clas­si­fied as vul­ner­a­ble un­der the WA Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Act 1950, and world­wide there is a lack of data about the species.

In Ex­mouth, an­other marine re­search team tag­ging tur­tles is ask­ing for help, to name its re­search par­tic­i­pants. The BHP Bil­li­ton-CSIRO Nin­ga­loo Out­look pro­gram will be tag­ging nest­ing fe­male marine tur­tles early next year to col­lect in­for­ma­tion on mi­gra­tion pat­terns and nest­ing lo­ca­tions.

But the tagged tur­tles will need names to iden­tify them, and re­searchers have turned to the pub­lic for help with a tur­tle nam­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

To sug­gest a tur­tle name, go to re­search.csiro.au/nin­ga­loo/dont-need-home-id-like­name/.

Pic­ture: DEC

Lo­cals are be­ing asked to come up with their best tur­tle name sug­ges­tions for a Nin­ga­loo Out­look tag­ging pro­gram.

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