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Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program field team 2017/18. Taken by: Alistair Green.

First few days in Gnaraloo

Our first few days here in Gnaraloo have been exciting, long, hectic, interesting, intense and full of laughs. In the breaks of our training program, we have been busy settling into our new home, exploring the landscape and the station.

As most of us arrived at the station late on the 18th of October 2017, we woke the next morning to the most incredible view of the ocean! From our cabins, which are perched at the top of a small cliff, only a small sand dune separates us from the ocean. We started the first morning with introductions to the project and a tour of the station. Along the way, we met the Homestead Manager, Colleen and the Gnaraloo leaseholder, Paul who offered us a warm welcome to the site.

First view from our Cabins, 19 October 2017. Taken by: Megan Soulsby.

Over the next two days, we continued to learn more about the project procedures, health and safety and office work. After a few hours inside watching presentations and taking quizzes on the second day, Tess D. and I spent the afternoon outside painting stakes for the sampled turtle nests. Meanwhile, Tess C. and Heather ventured into different areas of the station playing with the GPS’s and finding interesting waypoints for the others to locate. As the afternoon continued, we swapped roles so we could all use the GPS’s and eventually all of us returned to paint the freshly white stakes with florescent pink tips, enabling us to spot the stakes on the beach from afar when we are pin-pointing the sampled nests.

Tess C making waypoints for Heather to find, 20 October 2017. Taken by: Heather Shipp.
Painting stakes
Tess D and Megan painting the stakes ready for the sample nests, 20 October 2017. Taken by: Heather Shipp.

As we continued to explore the station and the surrounding areas, we started to identify different bird and mammal species that are living around the station and our cabins. We are planning on keeping a species list on all the animals that we see at Gnaraloo throughout the season, as not much is known about the wildlife in the area. Look forward to our Wildlife Wednesday posts in the future where we can update you on our findings!

By Megan Soulsby

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