A project of Aub Strydom and WA Parks &Wildlife in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.
Dirk Hartog Island Loggerhead Turtle Tagging:
Dirk Hartog Island, covering 63,000 hectares is Western Australia’s largest island, forming a protective barrier to the shallow waters of Shark Bay. The Loggerhead turtle rookery at Turtle Bay on the north coast of the island is Western Australia’s largest and is of international significance. The Island and Bay are part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Property protected for its significant ongoing geological and biological processes and habitats for a number of threatened species.
To the north lies the Ningaloo Reef, Australia’s largest fringing coral reef, boasting spectacular coral formations, abundant fishes and species with special conservation significance such as turtles, whale sharks, dugongs, whales and dolphins. Ningaloo Marine Park was first gazetted in 1987 to recognise and protect this diverse biological hotspot with amendments made to park boundaries on 30 November 2004 to encompass the whole of the Ningaloo Reef. The Department of Parks and Wildlife is the primary manager of these reserves.
Dirk Hartog Island, Shark Bay, the Muiron islands and the beaches of the Ningaloo coast provide an important habitat and relatively undisturbed nesting area for the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) turtles between November and March each year. Flatback and leatherback turtles have also been recorded foraging occasionally along this coast.
In recognition of these important and diverse reserves, the Ningaloo Reef and surrounding area was bestowed the highest level of international recognition with its inscription on the World Heritage List for its natural beauty and biological diversity in June 2011. The Ningaloo World Heritage Area encompasses 604,500ha in total, including the Muiron Islands Marine Management Area, Ningaloo Marine Park, Cape Range National Park, the Learmonth Air Weapons Range and Bundegi and Jurabi Coastal Parks.
The nesting range of loggerhead turtles in Western Australia extends from Dirk Hartog Island in the south to the Muiron Islands in the north, with important rookeries in between, including Gnaraloo Bay, Cape Farquhar, Janes Bay and Bungelup in the Ningaloo Marine Park.
Satellite tagging at Dirk Hartog Island is part of a broader coordinated program in the 2015/16 season to understand inter-nesting movements, post-nesting migration, identify foraging grounds and potential threats across their entire nesting range in Western Australia with loggerhead turtles also tagged at South Muiron Island and Gnaraloo.
Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife
Marine Science Program
Shark Bay Marine Park