How far does a flatback turtle swim?


Parks Australia

Yurrwa heads to the sea after being fitted with a tracking device Yurrwa heads to the sea after being fitted with a tracking device

Every year Kakadu staff, traditional owners and volunteers camp on Gardangarl (Field Island) and study the turtles as they come ashore to nest. Last August we fitted satellite tags to two nesting females, Manbiri and Yurrwa, before they returned to the water, and we’ve been following them ever since.

A female laying her eggs on Gardangarl (Field Island) A female laying her eggs on Gardangarl (Field Island)

We’ve been monitoring flatback turtles on Gardangarl (Field Island) for over 20 years so we know Manbiri has laid many clutches of eggs. Since she was tagged in August she has travelled more than 3,600 kilometres, around the Coburg Peninsula to Groote Eylandt. Her satellite tracker will help us learn where she feeds between and after nesting.

Yurrwa has loyally returned to nest at Gardangarl since 2004. Since leaving Gardangarl she’s travelled nearly 6,000 kilometres, past Groote Eylandt and east, past Mornington…

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