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Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program – Latest News

Immerse yourself in the daily life of the GTCP scientific field teams!

Protect seagrass meadows

Female loggerhead turtles usually spend the length of the nesting season (November to February) either nesting or in inter-nesting zones just offshore of the beach. This zone allows females to…

Sea Turtle Conservation - Satellite Tracking - Gnaraloo Bay Rookery - Western Australia
Sea turtle Nerine returns to Gnaraloo

Sea turtle life cycles are unfortunately hard to follow, even by those that dedicate their entire lives to understanding them. That being said, after spending almost 6 months with the…

Holly In Hilux
For the love of Gnaraloo

Some call us crazy, some say it’s a spell, but to me it is an all-encompassing, overwhelming, magnetic force that pulls me right back in. The draw to Gnaraloo captivated…

Green Turtle At Gnaraloo, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
What’s the buzz on biodiversity?

Biodiversity has become a buzz word in the life of anyone interested in the environment. In the last decade, biodiversity has become particularly popular due to its linkage between people…

Gnaraloo Hoodies In New Zealand
Seven months at Gnaraloo Station

Often we tell the stories of our lives in chapters. We spend our days turning the pages of every new adventure, and when each is over, we put a blank…

Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program Field Team 2017/18
Last one, best one

2000 walking kilometres, 500 data sheets, 120 days, 67 ballpoint pens, 23 cabbages, and 4 vehicles later, we put a cap on the GTCP season 2017/18. It feels quite strange…

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings At The Gnaraloo Bay Rookery, Ningaloo Coast, Western Australia
Sea turtle hatchlings making the race to the ocean

Just after the new year here at Gnaraloo, the internet went on holiday. It did not tell anyone, where it was going, or for how long, and with no phone…

Nest Excavation At The Gnaraloo Bay Rookery
Last one there is a rotten egg!

Moving into our fourth and final month here in Gnaraloo, our daily routines have settled, changed, and settled again. We have learnt to juggle morning surveys, constant streams of work…

Project Manager Karen Hattingh, Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program
Meeting the boss

For two weeks in November, the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) Field Team had two important visitors – GTCP Project Manager Karen Hattingh and her dog Ziggy. While Simone and…

Spanish Dancer, Gnaraloo Bay Rookery
A morning to remember

November 19, 2017. I was – in one word – ecstatic! When I first began the GBN-BP7 stretch of the Gnaraloo Bay Rookery (GBR) this morning, I set out only…

Loggerhead Female Turtle At The Gnaraloo Bay Rookery
The world of science: turtle brain size

This field diary continues with the ongoing theme of sharing some of the various facts and characteristics that comprise the animal that we are currently devoting our lives to –…

Nest Excavation
The world of science: sea turtle eggs

Moving further along with the World of Science series, this field diary will aim to explore the story of turtle beginnings: The process of ovulation to development of the hatchling.…

Gnaraloo Sea Turtle Conservation, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
The world of science: sea turtle carapace

As an Animal Scientist and Conservation Biologist, it would be unlikely to surprise you that I find animals, their behavior, their physiology, and, well, pretty much everything about them, truly…

Satellite Tagged Loggerhead Sea Turtle At Gnaraloo Bay In Western Australia
The world of science: stable isotope analysis

The world of science is ever changing and with it comes new and exciting ways to locate, understand, and interact with the billions of species inhabiting the world around us.…

Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program Presentation
DBCA at Gnaraloo – Conservation of sea turtles in Western Australia

On November 19th, Chantelle and Mel, members of the Department for Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) on behalf of the Ningaloo Marine Park, arrived at the Homestead here at Gnaraloo.…

Swim With Sea Turtles, Gnaraloo, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Snorkeling at Gnaraloo

Our first morning of the season was spent doing introductions to the program and hearing presentations on the research we would be conducting. After a long couple of hours, it…

Stranded Sea Turtle At The Gnaraloo Bay Rookery
Turtle out of water

Night surveys were well underway, and turtle activity on the beach had started to pick up. This meant that our Night Surveys involved less trudging back and forth, up and…

Satellite Tagged Turtle - Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program
Receiving you loud and clear

Not so long ago, we in the GTCP Season 2017/18 were afforded an exciting opportunity. We were given the opportunity to work in collaboration with a turtle satellite tagging program.…

Loggerhead hatchlings spotted at 3Mile lagoon during the last school holidays 🐢 A group of teenagers was very lucky to see the turtle nest hatch and observe these tiny hatchlings run towards the ocean.

To behave responsibly near sea turtles and avoid causing unintended problems, please adhere to the following Turtle Watchers Code of Conduct:

• 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.

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Turtle monitoring at Gnaraloo Bay and Jane’s Bay: our vollies could tell you without even looking at the turtle that these tell-tale alternating tracks in the sand were made by a beautiful loggerhead!

This season, our NTP team was lucky enough to do some monitoring a little further afield than usual. Not only are Gnaraloo Bay and Jane’s Bay both incredibly picturesque places, they are important turtle nesting areas along the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area.

Gnaraloo Bay already has a strong and impressive turtle monitoring history. From 2008 to 2018, great work by Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program found it to be an important nesting area for the endangered loggerhead turtle. Jane’s Bay also has an interesting story. Monitoring was done by Parks and Wildlife from 2002 to 2008. Nesting varied from year to year with lots of nests from both green and loggerhead turtles. Working side by side with Traditional Owner Rangers, we’re now able to take another look at Jane’s Bay.

Having a reliable understanding of turtle activity along the whole Ningaloo Coast is incredibly valuable for conservation and management. If we know where the turtles are nesting, we can work to protect those areas from threats. For example, predation on eggs and hatchlings by feral animals.

This particular shot was taken at Gnaraloo Bay on New Year's Eve. We’re really excited to continue the great work at Gnaraloo Bay and Jane’s Bay, and get an even better understanding of these important areas.
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