For two months each year, the Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers daily patrol the 25 kilometres of beach between Janie Creek and Pennyfather Beach, to rid the shoreline of threats to nesting turtles.
Olive Ridley and Flatback turtles nest along this stretch. Threats to turtle survival range from raids on nests by feral pigs, dogs, goannas, birds and crocodiles.
Researcher Janine Ferguson from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, said this year the majority of predation was carried out by dogs. Overall hatchling success for the two turtle species was lower than the year previous.
Mapoon’s Land and Sea Coordinator, Jane Blackwood said this is particularly concerning for Olive Ridleys.
Ranger work programs across Cape York during the nesting season are focused on managing threats to marine turtles. The work is hot and difficult, with many hours spent on beaches removing nets, ropes and fishing line and other marine debris, which is potentially dangerous or fatal to turtles and other marine species.
In early September, Cape York NRM experienced this work first hand, spending a day on the beach with Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers removing ghost nets and monitoring nests.
PHOTOS taken while working with Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers at Janie Creek Turtle Camp 6
Right top: Mapoon Ranger, Judy Sagigi removes ropes during beach monitoring
Right middle: Cecil Woodley, Judy Sagigi and Jocelyn de Jersey offload burnt nets collected from the beach
Right bottom: A Flatback turtle nest is marked amongst a beach full of marine debris.