Baby turtles on track for release

Bella KitchenSouth Western Times
Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre conservation manager Jan Tierney weighs the turtles each week to track their progress.
Camera IconBunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre conservation manager Jan Tierney weighs the turtles each week to track their progress. Credit: Bella Kitchen.

The four endangered loggerhead turtle hatchlings rescued by the Dolphin Discovery Centre during the winter storms have had significant growth thanks to the care from the centre.

Back in July Seacil the turtle weighed in at just over 50g, now after three months of care he weighs 366g.

The three other turtles have also showed great signs of improvement, one had gained 325g since its arrival in June.

Centre conservation manager Jan Tierney said she was happy with the progress of the turtles and the work the volunteers continued to put in to feed, weigh and measure them every week.

Ms Tierney said the turtles were on track to be released early next year at Ningaloo by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

The carers observe signs the turtles can float and dive independently to help indicate if they are ready for release.

“Before a turtle is ready for release I am looking for it to be able to completely control its floatation until it can dive down, sit on the bottom and sleep,” she said.

“We want them to continue to put on a minimum of 10 per cent of their body weight every week, but normally they put on a lot more.

By the time the turtles go to be released they will be one or two kilos.

She said the centre had applied for funding to put satellite trackers on the turtles to track where they go after their release.

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