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Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar Rookery

Thank you for your continued help!

To all our financial members and supporters, thank you for your continued help!

This newsletter provides an overview of how we have supported the Gnaraloo Wilderness Area through membership subscriptions and donations for the period 1 July 2018 to 31 May 2019.

From the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation Chair, Karen Hattingh.


Turtle Poster

1. Beautiful poster for sale

With the help of iHerp Australia we have developed a limited edition colour poster featuring a Gnaraloo loggerhead turtle. We have just 56 prints for sale, each with a unique identifier number in the sequence. They make a great addition to any room and are well worthy of framing. Get yours!

2. Important submissions to Government

We have made two submissions to the State Government (Western Australia) about the future of the Gnaraloo coastline, beaches and dunes:

1. The draft Ningaloo Management Plan by the Government
2. Future planning policy for the Ningaloo Coast

We’re particularly concerned about the continued protection of the sea turtle nesting beaches at Gnaraloo Bay and the Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar area.

World Heritage values must be protected by the State Government. It needs to make and control planning decisions to ensure alignment with World Heritage values. This responsibility cannot be divested to multiple and separate local government authorities, such as to the Carnarvon and Exmouth Shires.

Would you have a look at the points that we made in the submissions?

3. A Government Grant for continued feral animal control

Nest predation by feral animals has always been a major contributor to sea turtle decline. So we are delighted to announce that the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation and Animal Pest Management Services have successfully secured financial support from Rangelands NRM WA for 2 feral animal control events on the land at Gnaraloo that adjoins and buffers the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area, the Ningaloo Reef and the Ningaloo Marine Park.

This work will protect the biodiversity values on the Gnaraloo coast (including its sea turtle rookeries at Gnaraloo Bay and Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar) and at the important inland Lake MacLeod wetland system at Gnaraloo.

4. Presentations

With the aim of increasing awareness and support for our program, our Chair, Karen Hattingh, shared information at different forums about the Gnaraloo turtles and scientific findings under the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program and the Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program.

These were held at Gnaraloo, the 4th Australian Marine Turtle Symposium, Southern Great Barrier Reef, in Queensland (with over 300 attendees and turtle enthusiasts), the Southern Great Barrier Reef Regional Schools “Reef Together” Convention in Queensland (to an audience of 200 students and teachers from 20 regional schools), to private sector companies and to Government.

5. Training in flipper tagging

Members of our committee, Karen Hattingh and Dof Dickinson, were trained to be turtle taggers during September 2018 in Queensland. We learned to measure, remove barnacles where needed, record old tags, and insert new ones in the right spots. Recording turtle movements informs protection of their habitats, feeding areas and nesting beaches.

Thank you Brains for testing the data entry on a field app for use on mobile phones. The app works offline where there is no coverage. The turtle researcher just syncs it when there is a connection. In the field, it lets the scientists record and drop in photos of their work and findings and automatically date and time stamps the record with full GPS coordinates!


6. Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation (GWF) website

The GWF website continues to be a very important source of public information about the Gnaraloo Wilderness Area. We have updated it with recent developments and posted new information. You can now see where our money came from in the past.

Also check out the species that we have catalogued for Gnaraloo!

Thank you Brains for funding the hosting costs for our website.

7. Charity obligations

We appointed the GWF Committee 2018/19. Welcome to everyone!

Karen Hattingh (Rainbird Consult) (New Chair).
Mark Scholmann (Chilli Finance) (New Secretary).
Claire Guillaume (Soundwave on the road) – Graphic Design and Communications.
Dof Dickinson (Brains) – Marketing and Communications.
Rachel Courtright (Brains) – Committee Member.
Jeremie Collado (Soundwave on the road) – Committee Member.
Alistair Green – Committee Member.
Paul Richardson (Gnaraloo Station) – Committee Member.
Linda Brnjich (Chilli Finance) – Treasurer.
Colleen Mason (Gnaraloo Station) – Bookkeeper.

There has been a lot of other work for the GWF.
We have run it as a nature-based charity behind the scenes and complied with all the onerous annual legal, financial and reporting requirements for charities. As the work is so important, we have kept the GWF alive during this very difficult period of little funds.


1. Land for Wildlife nomination

The GWF submitted a “Land for Wildlife” nomination for Gnaraloo Station to the State Government to include the land at Gnaraloo that adjoins and buffers the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area, the Ningaloo Reef and the Ningaloo Marine Park. This proposal has the agreement of the Gnaraloo pastoral leaseholder.

2. Intractable waste off Gnaraloo

We are working on a proposal to remove a further 200 tonnes of scrap steel off Gnaraloo Station from 80 years of occupation. This is not a simple project and has many complexities, but great environmental and social benefits once achieved such as improved landscape function, habitat for the recovery of native fauna species and visual amenity and enjoyment in a wilderness area. We are working on this project with the Gnaraloo pastoral leaseholder.



3. Grant applications

We submitted more grant applications to private companies and Government for (1) continued feral animal control work, (2) plastic recycling and (3) a waste avoidance campaign.

4. Gnaraloo turtle documentary

Our documentary “The mystery of the Gnaraloo sea turtles” continues to win awards and be a great tool in letting people know about the sea turtle rookeries at Gnaraloo, our conservation and satellite tracking initiatives. It has been screened at 10 international film festivals, as well as being a feature documentary at the Maui Marine Life Centre in Hawaii.
The documentary has won an award for: Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation: Best scientific documentary; Fremantle Underwater Film Festival 2018. It won Official selections to: International Wildlife Film Festival 2018; International Ocean Film Festival 2018; Wildlife Conservation Film Festival 2018; Thunder Bay Film Festival, 2019; and New York Wild 2019.

This shows how much the preservation of our marine life truly resonates globally and is a topic of importance.

The screenings of the documentary have also generated some funds so that we are not entirely dependent on your donations.

Thank you Brains for filming, producing, editing and distributing this documentary and Soundwave on the road for providing additional footage.

5. Dark Skies

We are considering a proposal for a Dark Skies notation for Gnaraloo Station. We are working on this project with the Gnaraloo pastoral leaseholder. If there are any experts who could help us with the quantitative light assessments, please contact us at:

Dark Sky

6. Award submission

We have applied for a 2019 Telstra Business Award for the GWF.

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