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Ningaloo Turtle Program annual report 2010-2011

Posted on 12 October 2011

TitleNingaloo Turtle Program annual report 2010-2011
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsKelliher, S, Lusty C, Prophet M
Date Published06/2011
InstitutionNingaloo Turtle Program
Report NumberAnnual report 2010-2011
Keywordsbiodiversity, Ningaloo, turtles
AbstractThe Ningaloo Turtle Program (NTP) was established in 2002 as a collaborative project between Cape Conservation Group Inc (CCG), World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Australia and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC)-Exmouth District. The primary aim of the program is to promote and ensure the long-term survival of turtle populations within the Ningaloo Region by collecting long-term trend data on marine turtle population size. For the purpose of the program, the Ningaloo Region is divided spatially into a hierarchical classification. Within this classification there are four Divisions within the Ningaloo Region: North West (NW) Cape Division, Cape Range Division, Bundera/Ningaloo Division and Coral Bay Division. Each division is then further divided into sections and subsections. In 2010-2011 only the NW Cape and Cape Range Divisions were monitored intensively due to consolidation of the program in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (Whiting, 2008). This consolidation is also attributed to capacity constraints and limited funding. Opportunistic monitoring only was carried out in the Bundera/Ningaloo Division and Coral Bay Divisions. However, for the purpose of this report, data collected from these divisions has been omitted from the results. Since commencement of the program in 2002, volunteers have contributed 42,738 hours to the NTP. This figure alone demonstrates the importance of volunteers for the continuation and sustainability of this community-based program. The 2010-2011 NTP season proved to be very active not only in terms of turtle activity, with 3295 new nests and 6975 false crawls recorded in the Ningaloo Region (approximately 3 times more than last season), but also in terms of cyclonic activity. At the time of writing, 5 severe weather events (2 monsoonal lows and 3 tropical cyclones) brought heavy rain, flooding, gale force winds and major tidal activity within the areas the NTP operates. Subsequently tidal inundation resulted in 46% of damaged nests. Please note this report only contains figures up to and including the 30th January 2011. Please also note at time of writing the final three intermittent monitoring operations of the season have yet to be completed. This is due to the NTP Coordinator’s contract being shorter than the specified period of monitoring required, which was determined by budgetary constraints.
Ningaloo turtle program annual report 2010_11.pdf3.46 MB