A project of WWF Australia in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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WWF-Australia and its 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, WWF and scientists are embarking on a study to identify the migration pathways, diets and critical foraging habitats of this vulnerable turtle.
In November 2013, four satellite transmitters were attached to nesting flatback turtles originating from Wunjunga Beach.
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.
This is a project of WWF-Australia’s Species Conservation team in conjunction with our partners from the Gudjuda Reference Group, the Queensland Government's turtle researchers, universities and local community groups, gratefully supported by Factorie.