Sea Turtle Foundation has been working hard this quarter to protect sea turtles and their habitats.
STF has partnered with James Cook University researchers to trial a new observational monitoring program, which would allow fishers, boaties, and people on our beaches to record sea turtle sightings. The data collected will be input into a database that will track where turtles are congregating and be used to track population trends. Thanks to support from Global Giving donors, STF has been able to coordinate volunteers for this project and provide support for five research trips to test the new program.
STF has also been continuing our partnership with JCU, WWF, the Gudjuda and Girringun people, Queens Beach Action Group, and Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service to monitor the health of sea turtles in the Whitsundays region. We have completed two research trips to Bowen this quarter, processing over 100 turtles and recording data about their health. Unfortunately, the incidence of fibropapillomatosis seems to be increasing after a period of low incidence, so it is vital that the research into this disease in this area continues.
We have also been looking after sea turtle habitat by conducting five area beach cleanups in April and May. Volunteers gave up their Saturday mornings to clean up five beaches. By far, the vast majority of rubbish we collected was plastic that had washed in from the ocean; the number one items were plastic bottle caps and food wrappers. Everyone can help reduce this type of waste by using reusable food and drink containers, and making sure that any plastic waste ends up in the rubbish bin, not the water!
Finally, we have won use of a ute for six months from local car dealer Parry Nissan. This ute has been an incredible help, as we go into a period of higher stranding incidence. We have already used the ute for research trips and community events, and for transporting injured turtles. A huge thank you to Parry Nissan for sponsoring us!
We couldn't be doing all this important work without the support of Global Giving donors like you. I would like to thank every one of you for supporting Sea Turtle Foundation and helping us protect turtles and their ocean. Together, we can make a difference and ensure there are Turtles for Tomorrow!
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