21 July 2023

Funding boost for Cape York's turtle success story

| Sarah Martin
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Turtle nests at Crab Island beach are among those monitored by WCTTAA.

Turtle nests at Crab Island beach are among those monitored by WCTTAA.

TURTLE protection on Cape York’s west coast will be boosted with a share of $1 million going to Cape York Natural Resource Management and the Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance.

WCTTAA has been operating for more than a decade with an annual turtle monitoring and protection program that covers multiple species including the critically endangered Olive Ridley turtle and vulnerable flatback turtle.

CYNRM Biodiversity and Fire Program Manager Toby Eastoe said the funding would assist the WCTTAA team, which comprised of a partnership of six on-ground Indigenous land and sea owners and managers supported by CYNRM, to better monitor turtles.

“The funding is for the next two years and will help deliver new training and new devices and other items to help the team complete their monitoring more easily,” Mr Eastoe said.

Mr Eastoe said the turtle protection project was one of the most successful recovery programs in Australia.

“When they started in around 2011, the research showed around 100 per cent predation of the nests on Cape York beaches,” he said.

“But because of the program running and the rangers on the beaches all the time doing pig control pre- and post-nesting seasons and other measures, predation is now under 30 per cent which means a lot of little hatchlings are making it to the ocean.

“It’s great to see that there is some extra support there for this project.”

The funding from the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative was handed out to a raft of local governments and NRM groups for projects which help mitigate the impact of invasive plants and animals.

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