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Share in the turtle research work!

You can share in the research work of the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) through field excursions at Gnaraloo during the turtle nesting season. This opportunity is also available to any groups, whether adult or children, including primary and high schools.

During day surveys, we interpret and work mainly with tracks. You’ll accompany our turtle field research team during their scientific research surveys. You will learn about:

  • Turtle and feral animal track monitoring
  • Turtle species and nest identification
  • Data collection of nest disturbance

Prior to going out on a survey, the GTCP field research team will give you a presentation to explain our work, research and findings so far. You will learn about:

  • Sea turtle ecology and behaviour
  • Turtle watching codes
  • Threats to turtles

You do not need any previous turtle tracking experience as you will always be escorted by our field researchers.

Learn about sea turtles at Gnaraloo in Western Australia
Sea turtle field excursion at Gnaraloo, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

How do I arrange this?

You can participate with the turtle program at Gnaraloo from beginning December to end January.

To join the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program, you must be a guest of our program partner, Gnaraloo Station, or participate with our schools program. You need to arrange your stay at Gnaraloo by calling one of their bookings offices (+61 8 9315 4809 or +61 8 9942 5927). You can book accommodation at either 3Mile Camp or the Homestead which offers self-contained accommodation for families and groups. Note that the GTCP field team lives and works from the Homestead area, so you’ll have more access to them if you stay here as well. You need to be self-sufficient for transportation, meals and everything you will require for your stay at Gnaraloo. When not participating with the turtle program, you can do as you like for your own relaxing and recreational activities.

We recommend that participants are at least 8 years old as surveys are undertaken on foot which may involve walking a few hours, depending on the amount of turtle nesting activities encountered. You can always return home if you are too tired to continue! You will need to be up at 5am to be on location at the monitored rookery for the morning survey at sunrise.

Day visitors cannot participate with the turtle program.

What to bring?

Hat
Sunglasses
Eco-friendly sunscreen
Shoes
Jacket
Water
Camera (no flash allowed)

Volunteer with kids and sea turtles on the Ningaloo Coast

Turtle watchers Code of Conduct

To behave responsibly near sea turtles and avoid causing unintended problems, please adhere to the following key guidelines:

• No Glow, Move Slow and Stay Low
Flash photography and torches must not be used as these discourage turtles from emerging on the beach, make nesting turtles return to the water and disorientate hatchlings. Sea turtles have a strong sense of smell, perfumes must not be worn. Turtle watchers should move slowly and crouch low to the ground when near turtles to avoid disturbing the nesting.

• Stop, Drop and Act as a Rock
When near a turtle, stop (where you are), drop (slowly to the ground) and act as a rock (stay still like a rock). If you follow these guidelines, you will not jeopardize the egg laying and hatching processes.

Download the Code of Conduct

Presentation + Field Excursion  $20 per adult or child

Accompany our scientific field team for surveys during the turtle nesting season.

The Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation is transitioning to a self-funding model during 2017/18, in the absence from 1 July 2018 of any grant support as well as the loss of the previous significant financial support by Gnaraloo Station (over $1.8Million since 2008). Therefore, we cannot provide the field presentation and survey excursions free anymore as was given during 1 July 2008 – 30 June 2018. All your contributions directly support the long-term protection of sea turtle habitat at Gnaraloo and the educational programs undertaken by the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation, a not-for-profit charity unrelated to and distinct from Gnaraloo Station’s commercial business.

Watch sea turtles nesting in the Ningaloo Marine Park

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Educational presentations

Community and schools may also share in the research work of the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation through school presentations from March to May.

Resources

Find valuable information and resources for teachers, parents and anyone interested in sea turtles and environmental conservation.

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