Media Release

23/05/2013
Turtle grant welcomed
James Cook University has welcomed the $36,000 grant from the WWF-Australia to help fund its turtle health research program.

James Cook University has welcomed the $36,000 grant from the WWF-Australia to help fund its turtle health research program.

The grant announced today – World Turtle Day – along with funding from the ER Hayles Trust via Perpetual Trustees and John T Reid Trust will help the University create a world-class Turtle Health Research Facility on its Townsville campus.

JCU’s Dr Ellen Ariel said every dollar of funding was critical to the survival of the marine turtles of the Great Barrier Reef.

“With the funds from Perpetual’s Hayles Trust, WWF Australia and John T Reid Charitable Trusts, we are well on our way to creating a purpose-built research facility that will allow us to study the immune system of turtles,” she said.

“We know far more about what causes disease in domesticated and commercially valued animals – and how to treat them – than we do about sea turtles.

“This is partly because turtles are wild animals and rarely come into contact with humans, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of their distress and how to address it,” Dr Ariel said.

The JCU Turtle Health Facility will share knowledge gained via research with turtle carers and with other professional and academic institutions worldwide.

Issued: May 23, 2013

Media enquiries: Jim O’Brien 07 4781 4822