Re­hab and re­lease for tur­tle

Pilbara News - - News - Talitha Wolfe and Tom Zaun­mayr

A log­ger­head tur­tle found washed ashore at Cheyne Beach ear­lier this month has been suc­cess­fully re­ha­bil­i­tated in Ex­mouth.

The tropical and sub­trop­i­cal an­i­mal was found suf­fer­ing from ex­po­sure to cold wa­ters.

De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife re­gional wildlife of­fi­cer Cameron Craigie said a strong cur­rent was thought to have pushed the tur­tle to Al­bany.

“Ju­ve­nile log­ger­head tur­tles are of­ten very small; hatch­ing at about 10cm in length on our north­ern beaches in April and May,” he said.

The tur­tle was re­leased at Ex­mouth on March 9 af­ter be­ing trans­ported to Perth Zoo for treat­ment and com­ple­tion of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion at the Aquar­ium of WA.

Log­ger­head tur­tles are listed as en­dan­gered un­der the Western Aus­tralian Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Act 1950.

The log­ger­head has been fit­ted with a satel­lite tracker and 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.”

The tur­tle can be fol­lowed at www.sea­tur­tle.org/track­ing/?pro­jec­t_id=879

A green tur­tle was found in Ex­mouth last year suf­fer­ing from buoy­ancy is­sues and was taken to the Ex­mouth Wildlife CARE group, where he was sta­bilised be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to Perth Zoo for treat­ment.

Pic­tures: De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife

Log­ger­head tur­tle found in Al­bany and re­leased in Ex­mouth.

A green tur­tle re­leased in Ex­mouth.

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