Posted December 06, 2015 12:04:14

A world-very first app will aid conservationists uncover the mysteries behind the movements of the endangered loggerhead turtles.

A team of environmental scientists and conservationists have gathered at Gnaraloo Station in Western Australia’s North West to track the journey of loggerheads through the Indian Ocean and make it obtainable to anyone about the planet.

It is hoped the project will aid inform the conservation efforts of the species.

Female loggerhead turtles face a single-in-three,000 odds of returning to the website exactly where they were born to nest.

Once they attain maturity at the age of 30, they only return after each and every four years.

Where the turtle slips away amongst nesting has remained a mystery to these wanting to improve the odds of the species’ survival.

“They’re a migratory species, they move in amongst continents, we never know how far they go,” stated Karen Hattingh, system manager of the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program.

“If they go elsewhere on the Ningaloo Coast, if they go to Shark Bay, so it’s going to be fascinating to uncover out where they really go when they leave the nesting beaches.”

Scientists will commit the next four months trekking the isolated coast of Gnaraloo Station in the middle of the night to attach tags to the shells of 10 loggerheads.

Turtles tracked in darkness

The method is painstaking and requires locating turtle tracks in full darkness.

Up to five guys are necessary to harness the turtle, weighing much more than one hundred kilograms, after it finishes laying its eggs so they can attach a tag to its shell. It takes up to eight hours at a time.

Each turtle is provided a name and special profile, and its tracker will send information to an app showing its journey through the Indian Ocean.

Dof Dickinson, the director of Brains Design, the company that created the app, said the program will give scientists a world 1st look into the lives of the species and insights into their conservation.

“We’re going to get hit spots coming up and that’s going to show us where the turtles devote a bit a lot more time and that is going to indicate feeding grounds,” she said.

“That is really critical to science because it’s like ‘ok this is where we need to have to concentrate our conservation efforts’.”

The Gnaraloo loggerhead turtles are the third biggest population of the species in the globe.

Foxes and feral cats have wreaked havoc on their nesting grounds in recent years but with the support of environmental scientists and conservation workers, the threat is diminishing.

Chair andfFounder of the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation, Paul Richardson, hopes the app will support these conservation efforts by stopping tourism facilities becoming developed at Gnaraloo in the future.

“The fact that the apps going to be out there, that a lot of people all over the planet are going to know that it is there, hopefully that will support persuade the State Government not to create in the ways that they intend to,” he said.

Topics: animals, conservation, carnarvon-6701

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