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Ningaloo Turtle Program annual report 2007-2008

Posted on 12 October 2011

TitleNingaloo Turtle Program annual report 2007-2008
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMarkovina, K
Tertiary AuthorsLewis, A, Irvine L, Mau R, Simpson T, Hughes M
Date Published06/2008
InstitutionNingaloo Turtle Program
Report NumberAnnual report 2007-2008
Keywordsbiodiversity, Ningaloo, turtles
AbstractThe Ningaloo Turtle Program (NTP) was established in 2002 as a collaboration between the Cape Conservation Group (CCG), the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Exmouth District Office and WWF-Australia. During the 2007-08 season the NTP involved the morning monitoring aspect of the Ningaloo Community Monitoring Turtle Program but excluded the night time observation aspect at the Jurabi Turtle Centre, resulting in a slight reduction in volunteer numbers and hours contributed to the program. The North West Cape, Bundera and Coral Bay divisions were monitored in the Ningaloo region between the 1st of December 2007 and the 28th of February 2008. Over the six seasons of operation since its commencement in 2002 the NTP has continued to collect data as part of the process to determine long term trends in marine turtle nesting and estimated turtle population numbers in the Ningaloo region. A total of 6277 nests and 14230 false crawls were recorded in the 2007-08 NTP season, of which 5,596 nests and 13,427 false crawls were recorded in the North West Cape division, 610 nests and 749 false crawls were recorded in the Bundera division and 71 nests and 54 false crawls were recorded in the Coral Bay division. In addition to the highest abundance of turtle nesting, the North West Cape division also experienced the highest nesting density (followed by the Bundera division and then the Coral Bay division) according to the collected data. Green turtles were responsible for 18394 activities (nests and false crawls), loggerhead turtles for 1746 activities and hawksbill turtles for 292 turtle activities. Green turtles have consistently been recorded to produce the majority of nests in the Ningaloo region over all seasons, with the exception of the 2004-05 season in which loggerhead turtle activity levels were similar to that of green turtles. Based on several assumptions and basic estimates, the turtle nesting numbers recorded this season equate to approximately 1843 - 2669 green, 70 – 104 loggerhead and 44 – 64 hawksbill nesting female turtles in the North West Cape division during the 2007- 08 season. Based on the same assumptions and method of calculation for other seasons there has been a general increase in the number of turtles recorded since the commencement of the NTP. This same upward trend applies for green and hawksbill turtles but loggerhead numbers have been more variable and have decreased since a peak in the 2005-06 season. The total level of turtle activity recorded per unit effort decreased between 2003 and 2005, possibly due to ENSO-related events affecting food quality and quantity.
Refereed DesignationUnknown
Ningaloo turtle program annual report 2007_08.pdf6.03 MB