Summer is here on the Ningaloo Reef, and that means it’s turtle season! This year our Lodge Managers Paul and Candice and our Head Guide Julian have completed their training to become official Turtle Trackers for the Ningaloo Turtle Program. The turtle volunteer program was developed by the Cape Conservation Group, the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Murdoch University and WWF Australia in 2002 and is a unique way to help conserve, study and understand these amazing marine creatures.
Ningaloo Marine Park is one of the largest fringing reef systems in the world. Teeming with a diversity of corals, fish and invertebrates, the reef provides habitat for some of the world’s threatened marine species, including dugongs, whale sharks, humpback whales and of course, turtles.
Three of the world’s seven marine turtle species nest on mainland beaches and islands of Ningaloo Reef during the summer months from November to March. The green turtle, the loggerhead turtle and the hawksbill turtle.
Sal Salis managers Paul and Candice and guide Julian have the unique privilege of living at Sal Salis on the beautiful Ningaloo Reef, so are perfectly placed to help track and monitor the turtles over the Summer.
Sal Salis manager, Candice, said: “We are located in the Cape Range National Park, on the shores of Ningaloo Reef; both of which are World Heritage listed sites. We are surrounded by a pristine natural environment, an amazing diversity of fauna and flora and prolific marine life. We are passionate about our environment and want to be a part of protecting and conserving our amazing wildlife.
“The training done by DPAW was fantastic and we can’t wait to begin our monitoring work. We will also be passing this knowledge and information onto our guests to help educate and inspire them about marine life and conservation. We love to immerse our guests in the wildlife and marine species here at Ningaloo Reef and this is another great way to get them excited about conservation.”
If you are interested in becoming a Ningaloo Turtle Program volunteer visit http://www.ningalooturtles.org.au/datesturtle.html for more information.
Left: Paul and King, turtle trackers! Right: Alex putting in a totem.
Left: Feral footprints! The course includes interpretation of tracks.
Right : The GPS marks the spot!