This project allows researchers in Queensland, Australia to check endangered sea turtles for disease and track population trends. Work will occur in areas with high growth potential and little to no baseline data; this information will help us protect sea turtle populations on the Great Barrier Reef.
All seven sea turtle species worldwide are endangered, with six of those seven species found in Australian waters. Queensland, home to the Great Barrier Reef, is also one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia for coastal development. Data on sea turtle populations are spotty because there is so much coastline to cover, but collecting this data before development happens is vital to assessing the health of sea turtle populations and their habitats.
Sea Turtle Foundation is partnering with researchers at James Cook University, Traditional Owner groups, and community volunteers to monitor the health of sea turtles in north Queensland, from Bowen to the northern beaches and beyond. We want to fill in the gaps in data and monitoring of both sea turtles and their habitats, to have a more complete record of baseline data throughout the region.
The project will collect data over a period of years, providing an accurate picture of sea turtle population trends and environmental health and allow authorities to make better management decisions about coastal development and protections for sea turtles and the Great Barrier Reef.