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Actions and words speak volumes

Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance (WCTTAA) has kicked many goals this year protecting marine turtles on the Western Cape through its highly successful on-ground work as well as through spreading the word on these quiet achievements.

WCTTAA Ranger groups have again delivered a turtle nest monitoring and protection program during 2021 on beaches covering some 150 kilometres of remote coastline.

The Ranger groups included:

• Pormpuraaw Land and Sea Management Rangers

• Napranum Rangers

• Mapoon Land and Sea Management Rangers

• Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council /

Apudthama Rangers

The WCTTAA turtle nest monitoring and protection program includes a targeted and coordinated feral pig control program, along with direct nest protection to olive ridley and hawksbill turtle nests.

While different monitoring methodologies are used for each beach, the number of turtle nests and species are recorded, along with the predation rates throughout the season.

Turtle nests are protected using a combination of aerial and on-ground predator control and installing protection devices on nests of endangered species.

The final data analysis for the 2021 nesting season is yet to be finalised, however, WCTTAA is again well on track to reach the target of 70% nest survival rate to ensure the future of these local populations. Along with this on-ground work, WCTTAA has also been busy behind the scenes.

In February WCTTAA presented at the North Queensland Threatened Species Symposium in Cairns, highlighting the importance of coordinated and targeted efforts, and monitoring the quantitative impacts of this vital work.

The Symposium was well attended and included the Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box.

Olive ridley turtles have since been included on the Priority List for National Threatened Species, which improves their eligibility for additional funding from the Australian Government.

They were one of 100 priority species selected under the Threatened Species Strategy’s first five-year action plan, 2021-2026.   

 

WCTTAA also presented at the National Feral Pig Action Plan Stakeholder Forum and has since been invited to be a demonstration site for best practice in pig management. A big congratulations.

Despite the ongoing successes of the Western Cape turtle conservation program funding is always competitive.

However, Cape York NRM is pleased to note program finances have just been extended to the end of the 2022 calendar year through the Nest to Ocean Turtle Protection Program, which is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.

We will finish the year with a Western Cape marine turtle meeting which brings together members of WCTTAA, along with other organisations, delivering outcomes for marine turtles on the western Cape and key representatives from the Queensland Government’s marine turtle conservation program.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

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