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Flatback Turtles - Gulf of Carpentaria - Australia

Project description: Three flatback turtles were fitted with satellite transmitters in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia between 29 Sept and 5 Oct 2004. All three turtles nested on West Island which is part of the Sir Edward Pellew Islands in the south west corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

These islands are the traditional lands of the Yanyuwa aborgines who also hold legal tenure to the islands today. The Yanyuwa people continue strong cultural links with the sea, the islands and the animals and plants. Sea turtles and dugongs and still hunted and turtle eggs collected for traditional use. The Traditional Owners of West Island are the Simons family. Thomas Simon helped to attach the transmitters to turtles and named the first turtle (Terisita)his 2 year old niece. His father Tom Simon has helped with previous turtle and dugong projects over the last 12 years. Other families to help with this project include the Traditional Owners of South-West Island, Black Craggy Island and Vanderlin Island.

The Gulf of Carpentaria is a shallow sea between Australia and Papua New Guinea. This is a remote part of Australia with few settlements and townships. Approximately 85% of the coastal region is owned by Aboriginal people. The nearest township to West Island is Borrolola and it lies about 80 km away; 20 km by sea and 60 km by land. It lies on the banks of the mighty McArthur River estuary. Borroloola is an aboriginal township with approximately 1200 people.

This is a joint project between the local Indigenous Sea Rangers (Lianthawirriyarra Sea Rangers), WWF and Parks and Wildlife. The Lianthiwirriyarra Sea Rangers is an inititive of the local Mabnuji Resource Association (partly funded by Northern Territory Fisheries)to provide local people with the resources and training to help them manage their own land and sea resources. Source: seaturtle.org 
Country: Australia 
Location(s) of main activity: Northern Territory
Project team: WWF Australia 
Species tracked: Flatback 
Number of animals: 3
Project started: 28 Sep 2004
Last signal: 12 Nov 2004
Longest signal (no. days): 43
Shortest signal (no. days): 30 
Transmitter active: No 
Migration (general location): Northern Australia 
Published paper:
Project archived: Yes 
Partners: Lianthawarriyarra Sea Rangers - Mabunji Resources Assoc., WWF Australia, Parks and Wildife, Northern Territory 
E-mail address: swhiting@wwf.org.au 
Link: http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?project_id=49
Info last updated: 24 Jul 2009 

UNEP © IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Secretariat, c/o UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific,
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Tel: + (662) 288 1471 ; Fax: + (662) 288 3041 / 288 1029; E-mail: IOSEA Secretariat
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