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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Climate change is turning sea turtles female


Eighty-four degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot for sea turtles. At that temp, babies have an equal chance of being male or female — so paint the nursery yellow! When things get hotter, however, tots are more and more likely to be female. At 86.9 degrees F, only lady sea turtles are born.

Which means climate change is effin’ things up again, according to research published today in Nature Climate Change. A warming world could make male hatchlings a thing of the past, potentially driving the turtles extinct. Yikes. One of the study’s authors, Graeme Hays from Deakin University, notes that the population of Caribbean green turtles has already shrunk more than 99 percent.

The Sydney Morning Heraldhas the scoop:

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Brazil: 210 000 Giant South American River Turtles Hatch

The link below is to an article reporting on the hatching of some 210 000 Giant South American River Turtles in the Brazilian Amazon.

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