Turtle Love

Ningaloo Reef is home to large populations of green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, three of the world’s seven marine turtle species.  The mating and nesting season takes place each year between November and April.

Many have already lumbered up the beach to lay their eggs whilst others are still finding a fellow suitor.

For most species, courtship usually occurs over several weeks before the nesting season.  The three turtle species found on Ningaloo Reef have enlarged claws on their front flippers which help them to grasp the shells of the females during mating.  Copulation takes place in the water, just offshore.

A few weeks after mating the female comes ashore on a sandy beach to nest.

This female will be doing just that shortly.

Turtle Mating