Southern turtle spotters wanted
If you are a budding citizen scientist in the southern half of Australia, James Cook University has an assignment for you – keeping tabs on turtles.
Rochelle Ferris is a PhD student at JCU. She’s trying to better understand the geographic spread of turtles in the southern half of Australia.
“We think subtropical reefs are refuges for numerous tropical reef species that may become displaced from damaged tropical reef systems. But ecological data is lacking and covering a large area is expensive and time consuming,” she said.
So Ms Ferris is looking for citizen scientists to provide observations to help with this important research.
“I’m conducting a survey of sea turtle sightings in the subtropical waters of Australia: New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the southern part of Western Australia to increase our understanding of sea turtles’ habitat use.”
She said the results of the survey will add to knowledge of where and how extensive sea turtle populations extend into subtropical waters, and better prepare us to measure and respond to changes in those factors into the future.
Ms Ferris is looking to recruit fishers, surfers, divers and anyone else who spends time in, on or around the ocean.
If you have come across turtles in the region of interest during your travels, please use the following link:
Your assistance could help preserve these wonderful animals.