The community-based turtle monitoring program was established in 2004 to provide a much needed role for the awareness and conservation of the local threatened flatback sea turtle species: Natator depressus.
The presence of flatback turtles in Hedland gives a unique opportunity for the community and visitors to the area to be actively involved in contributing to the monitoring of the protected species.
Flatback sea turtles nest only on Australian beaches and have the shortest migratory range of all sea turtles. There is currently limited population data available on the species highlighting the importance of the Care for Hedland monitoring program. This program is a part of a wider turtle monitoring project encompassing nesting rookeries from Shark Bay in the south, up to the Kimberly.
The Hedland turtle monitoring program operates from October to March each year in correlation with the annual flatback migration to the coastline for the nesting and hatchling seasons (Nesting season: October – January. Hatchling season: December – March).
The turtle monitoring program has two key goals:
To educate and bring awareness of the local flatback turtle species and encourage positive methods for human interaction with the species.
To collect data concerning flatback turtle activity at the Cemetery Beach and Pretty Pool Beach nesting sites that will be used to provide an indication of the nesting and hatchling populations at Hedland; as well as to best guide management plans for the area.
The program uses a non-invasive approach to obtain monitoring data through conducting early morning beach patrols assessing turtle tracks and sand patterns. Laid and hatched nest locations are recorded using a GPS and additional turtle as well as predator activity is also documented.
This season we have had Conservation Volunteers Australia working on Cemetery Beach, collecting scientific data and conducting turtle tagging. Flipper tagging collects vital population data. It can provide information on population trends, habitat residency, movement patterns, individual growth rates, reproductive life history and strandings. Interstate, overseas and community volunteers have been assisting with this work and have enjoyed getting up close and personal with the turtles!
If you would like more information on the Care For Hedland Turtle Monitoring Program you can contact the Program Coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook .
Memberships can be purchased by contacting email@example.com
For daily updates on all things TURTLES check out our Facebook page: Care for Hedland Turtle Monitoring.
See below for more information!
During the nesting season, Care for Hedland conducts turtle watching tours for visitors to Port Hedland as well as members of the community. These tours are a great way to witness a process that has evolved and been taking pla...
The turtle watchers code of conduct provides guidelines for best practice when observing turtles on the beach. The guidlines are developed from an understanding of their senses, as we can use the information to modify our behaviour to allow us ...
Every morning at 6am we conduct a morning monitor at Cemetery Beach. We walk along the previous nights high tide line to look for fresh emerging and returning turtle tracks.