- First WA video of endangered olive ridley turtles in the Kimberley
Park rangers have recorded dozens of endangered olive ridley turtle hatchlings emerging from their nest in the Kimberley, a first for Western Australia.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the discovery had generated a lot of excitement among marine scientists and the Dambimangari traditional owners of the area because the species was rarely seen in WA.
Mr Jacob said a joint patrol of Department of Parks and Wildlife staff and Dambimangari rangers came across the nest while removing marine debris from a beach near Lalang-garram/Camden Sound Marine Park, 300km north-east of Broome.
The department's marine ranger Cameron Smith recorded the event with Dambimangari traditional owner Kieran Bangmorra
"This species has never before been filmed in WA and rarely anywhere else in Australia," the Minister said.
"An event of this nature reinforces the importance of marine parks, which is why the Liberal National Government has made an unprecedented $103.6 million investment in the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy. Under this strategy, the State Government is creating WA's biggest network of new marine parks to protect threatened species.
"It has only recently been discovered that olive ridley turtles nest in WA and they have never before been recorded from the beach where they were filmed.
"They are extremely scarce, so to witness this hatchling event is significant and helps to increase scientists' understanding of the species in Australia."
The olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the smallest of Australia's sea turtles and only grows to about 70 centimetres long.
Recently an adult olive ridley turtle in poor health was found in the proposed Yawuru Nagulagun/Roebuck Bay Marine Park near Broome. After rehabilitation at Broome's Chelonia Centre, it was released into the wild with a satellite tracking device attached to its shell.
It is the first olive ridley turtle to be tracked in Western Australian waters. To follow the turtle's journey, visit http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?tag_id=158116
- In addition to creating new Kimberley marine parks at Camden Sound and Eighty Mile Beach, the State Government is finalising new marine parks at Horizontal Falls, Roebuck Bay and North Kimberley
Minister's office - 6552 5800