Assessing the risk of multiple human pressures to flatback turtles

What? To build and run a cumulative risk assessment model for flatback turtles on the North West Shelf in order to identify priority areas that need to be managed, monitored and/or protected to increase the conservation of flatback turtles. Maps showing the cumulative impact of anthropogenic pressures on the stock and high versus low impacted areas will be produced.


Why? Information about anthropogenic pressures impacting the North West Shelf flatback turtle stock is limited and in particular there is no understanding of the cumulative impact of these human pressures on the stock. A comprehensive spatial and temporal overview of all human pressures impacting this stock is critical to inform the NWSFTCP's next strategic conservation plan and help prioritise areas requiring management, monitoring and/or protection 
What have we found? The cumulative risk assessment model is currently being built. The different pressures impacting the stock have been identified and their impact is being assessed. 
Who are our partners? DBCA

Health and diseases in the marine turtles of WA

What This project will investigate the health and disease status of marine turtle species found in Western Australian waters focusing on flatback turtles (Natator depressus). The first component to this research project is to establish a health and disease baseline for turtle species in Western Australia (WA), including establishing baseline blood chemistry reference ranges. Secondly it will assess the causes of morbidity and mortality of marine turtles in Western Australia, including assessing Spirorchiid (blood fluke) infection as a significant cause of mortality for all marine turtle species in WA.


Why In Western Australia there have been no scientific studies to assess causes of mortality and disease in marine turtle species at a regional scale. The results from these studies provide essential information on pressures that impact individual stocks in the region and provide avenues for direct management action.
What have we found? This project is still underway. Most field work is now completed with over 80 necropsies performed and over 200 samples of blood collected from a combination of nesting and foraging flatback turtles.
Who are our partners? DBCA, Murdoch University

North West Shelf Flatback Turtle Conservation Program

What? The status and trends of flatback turtles are understood by an ongoing monitoring program for the North West Shelf population stock and related stocks within Western Australia


Why? The Barrow Island and Mundabullungana rookeries are monitored by Chevron within the genetic stock.  Parallel monitoring  studies of the same genetic stock by DBCA are conducted at Thevenard and Delambre Islands.  Other flatback genetic stocks are monitored with collaborators at Port Hedland, Eighty Mile Beach, Ecobeach, Cable Beach, and Cape Domett to know how the species fares in general within WA boundaries
What have we found? The NWS flatback stock is genetically defined by the rookeries between Exmouth through Port Hedland. 
Who are our partners? Chevron, Pendoley Environmental, Mackeral Island Resorts, Rio Tinto, Care for Hedland, Conservation Volunteers Australia, DBCA and Marine Park office in Exmouth, Karatha, Broome, and Kununurra