Hey Turtle trackers 🙂
We have returned from our trip to Exmouth and all agree it was a positive experience. Chantelle Coote and Colin Valentine from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) were great hosts and we would like to thank them for the training and opportunity to join them in their beach monitoring surveys on 12 – 13 November 2011. We were also joined by GIS guru Stuart Dijkmans, who came along to gain training and experience in turtle monitoring.
We were all lucky enough to stay within Cape Range National Park which gave us views of spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife in every direction. Our training involved spending the 2 days out on the beaches in the mornings, monitoring turtle tracks and nests. It was a great opportunity for all especially Stu who was yet to have field experience with the monitoring.
‘They’re certainly a lot easier to identify in the textbooks!’, he’s concluded after the experience.
It was interesting to see the difference in the turtle activities on the Exmouth beaches compared with our Gnaraloo area, as many of the tracks were green turtles (Chelonia mydas) who had climbed, overlapped, zig-zagged and covered each other’s tracks.
While undertaking the training in Exmouth, we were lucky enough to see plenty of sea turtles swimming, mating and resting on the beach. Although we didn’t encounter any loggerhead (Caretta caretta) or hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) tracks, we all gained valuable knowledge on green turtles and the best practices for monitoring turtle tracks in general.
Until next time, Fiona and Stu.