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Home» Feature (Archive) » 12 January 2015

Marine turtle conservation in remote Western Australia 12 Jan 2015

Map of the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program study site In an article posted in the students’ newspaper ‘The Manitoban’, Bailey Rankine, a Canadian field biologist, describes some aspects of her current mission within the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) on the Ningaloo Coast, Western Australia. She reports that this season a dingo roamed the rookery and had, at the time of writing, evaded all control methods. A delayed loggerhead turtle nesting season was also observed there, but in the end, loggerhead turtles have been visiting the rookery regularly since Nov. 23. Up to eight nesting activities were recorded per night at the time of writing, and a minimum of 300 nests was predicted.

Gnaraloo is a wilderness tourism business and working pastoral station on the Ningaloo Coast in Western Australia, located approximately 1,000 km north of Perth, and adjacent to the Ningaloo Marine Park. The goals of the GTCP are to identify important nesting rookeries of the endangered marine turtles, and monitor and protect them. Gnaraloo is special because it is one of only three full season turtle monitoring programs in Australia, and being the home to more than 500 nesting activities per season, is also the largest rookery in Western Australia. Since 2008, the GTCP has recruited scientific interns nationally and internationally every season.

Bailey Rankine‘s specific role is data quality control and assurance. At the site, she is involved in all aspects of turtle monitoring, including species identification, nesting activity determination, monitoring predation of nests, identification of feral animal tracks, conducting on-site and off-site presentations, and writing a scientific report of the findings.

You can read her first article from October 27, 2014 and her second article from January 7, 2014 on the Manitoban website.


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