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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Flatback Whereabouts Project

A project of JCU, DEHP, WWF in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Badgigal Flatback TurtleAdult2014-12-052015-09-07276
Gungu Flatback TurtleAdult2014-12-042016-05-22535
Katya Flatback TurtleAdult2014-12-052015-03-0590
WWF Flatback TurtleAdult2014-12-062016-05-26537
Wunjunga Wanderer Flatback TurtleAdult2014-12-052016-05-26538

Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.

Introduction

James Cook University, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, WWF-Australia and their partners are working together to solve the mystery of the flatback turtles’ whereabouts in the northern Great Barrier Reef. At Wunjunga Beach, just south of Townsville in Queensland, scientists are continuing their study to identify the migration pathways, diets and critical foraging habitats of this vulnerable turtle.

In November 2014, four satellite transmitters were attached to nesting flatback turtles originating from Wunjunga Beach. Another six have been deployed during the 2014-2015 nesting season from the same location.

Complementary to the information acquired by satellite tracking, stable isotope collection and analysis of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) will assist us to determine the flatbacks’ diet, if there are one or more foraging grounds, and their migration paths.

Sampling the foraging grounds will also help us to determine flatback habitat type and diet preference.

There are many studies that show how marine turtles are being adversely affected by environmental change. With so little known about the flatback turtle, it is a priority that we identify their key foraging habitats and monitor their presence at nesting beaches, to gauge their responses to a changing environment.

Project Partners

This project is jointly funded by James Cook University and WWF-Australia’s Species Conservation team in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and partners from the Gudjuda Reference Group, Queens Beach Action Group.

  • The presentation of data here does not constitute publication. All data remain copyright of the project partners. Maps or data on this website may not be used or referenced without explicit written consent.
  • For more information please visit the project website.
  • If you have questions or would like to request the use of maps or data for this project please contact ian.bell@my.jcu.edu.au.

SEATURTLE.ORG collaborates with Argos to help scientists and conservationists manage and analyse their valuable animal tracking data.

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