Based on recent research, the marine turtle population nesting on Kowanyama beaches is thought to be considerable and an important area for nesting flatbacks and most significantly the endangered olive ridleys.
The Kowanyama Rangers have commenced a turtle monitoring and protection program in conjunction with Traditional Owners and the Department of Environment and Heritage protection. This includes beach monitoring and nest protection programs to assess and react to the required management needs of nesting marine turtles
As part of this turtle nest protection strategy, the Kowanyama Rangers worked in cooperation with a dedicated on-ground “Feral Control Team” (FCT) specialising in culling pigs and wild dogs. The FCT acting as part of “Operation Bikki Bikki”, which has already made a significant contribution to control of feral pigs in a project in eastern Cape York with the Lama-Lama Rangers.
The FCT visited Kowanyama in June and August 2015, conducting targeted ground shooting of feral pigs. Kowanyama Rangers accompanied the FCT acting as guides and provided local knowledge to the FCT. Rangers guided the activities by orienting the FCT about target locations and priorities.
The tally from the June trip resulted in 7 boars, 4 sows and 2 juveniles. The tally from the August trip resulted in 32 boars, 24 sows and 3 feral dogs.