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Green Turtle Tracking at Sandy Cape

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Taking advantage of turtle mating season, Aub Strydom, Peter Koch and Don and Leslie Bradley headed out to Sandy Cape over 8–15 October, laden with all the necessities for a week-long turtle-satellite-tagging trip.

Mating season provides the rare opportunity to find male turtles resting on the beach, and the team were able to tag four male Green turtles during their trip, along with one female.

Each night, the team drove the beach from Ngkala Rocks to Rooney Point, tagging every turtle they saw. The aim was to glue satellite trackers on male Green turtles, to gather information on where the males live and forage after the courting season.

green turtle tracking

Releasing the male turtle. Glue takes 3 hours to set. (Photo Peter Koch)

The female was tagged after the team beach hauled her from the shallows. She was found with courting damage and attended by a male. This particular female was first identified and tagged as a juvenile in Moreton Bay in May 1992, and was seen again in August 1994 and September 2012 around that same region. It is thought this may be her first breeding season. Her tracking data so far suggests that she is finished at Fraser Island and could be headed to her natal/nesting beach, the location of which may be revealed thanks to this tagging.

As at 18 October, the males tagged remain close to the coast of Northern Fraser Island, likely continuing to perform their courting dance. Their post–mating season data is eagerly awaited.

5 Green turtles tagged at Fraser Island 11 to 14 Oct 2015 - tracks to 30 Oct 2015

23 Years in the life of T64369

Submitted by Lesley Bradley

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