Since 2008 Conservation Volunteers Australia has been running our annual Flatback sea turtle monitoring program at Eco Beach, near Broome in north west Western Australia as part of our Threatened Species/Wild Futures program. The most recent monitoring program, run in November and December 2018, saw volunteers collect valuable data on the turtles nesting at Eco Beach while experiencing once-in-a-lifetime encounters with these unique animals.
Flatback sea turtles (Natator depressus) are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in Australia and ‘Data deficient’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). In fact, the Flatback sea turtle is the only marine turtle species listed globally as ‘Data deficient’ – meaning there is not enough information to tell whether Flatback turtle populations are declining, stable or increasing. The data gained by volunteers from the Eco Beach nesting sites contributes to information the IUCN needs to determine the status and management needs of Flatback sea turtles.The report on the 2018 monitoring season, including data on nesting numbers, turtle tagging and volunteer activities, is now available to download.
Download the report here
There are many people we would like to thank for making the 2018 Flatback sea turtle monitoring program such a success including:
- Yawuru Traditional Owners of Eco Beach
- Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
- The management and staff of Eco Beach Resort
- CVA organisers Emily Zhang, Jacki Smith, Clem Whittles, Tristan Duke and Jo Issaverdis
- The team leaders Clem Whittles, Steve Winderlich and Anne O’Dea
And finally, all the amazing volunteers who without your contributions, this project would not have happened!
Volunteers come from around the world to participate in this program, contributing to our long term understanding of the Flatback sea turtle. Working with researches and professional ecologists, conservation actions include nightly patrols tagging turtles, measuring, taking DNA samples, installing nest temperature data loggers and conducting morning surveys of turtle tracks between the water and nesting sites.
The Flatback sea turtle monitoring program will run again from 21st November – 5th December 2019. If you would like to be involved you can register your interest and find out more by contacting our Perth office [email protected] or (08) 9335 2777.