Turtle on a mission
Meet “Sandy”, the latest flatback turtle to be released as part of a research project under the North Australian Marine Research Alliance (NAMRA) which is looking at how ghost nets affect turtle populations in the Arafura Sea and Timor Sea regions. Sandy has joined “Ollie” the Olive Ridley turtle and “Henderson” the Flatback turtle ( sibling to Sandy) who were released into the sea off Bare Sand Island in May this year. Each turtle was fitted with a satellite tracker and their movements have been tracked. Henderson has covered more than 2600 kilometres in sea miles.
Sandy and Henderson were rescued as hatchlings from Bare Sand Island in July 2011 after being found weak and dehydrated during an Austurtle Flatback survey, and spent two years rehabilitating at the Territory Wildlife Park before their release. Sandy was not deemed suitable for release when Ollie and Hendo were set free because he had a digestive blockage and had lost a lot of condition. Persistence and patience has seen this animal fully recover, so much so that he was the star of Threatened Species Day at Darwin Waterfront on 7 September.
Each of the turtles progress can be tracked here. Each time they surface for air they will be located by a satellite and that information relayed to this website.
Sea Darwin would like to thank Dr Kiki Dethmers of NAMRA and the Territory Wildlife Park for partnering in this turtle release.