Sunshine Coast Council has embarked on a once-off tracking project in collaboration with Dr Col Limpus from the Queensland Government to gain insight into the inter-nesting habitat use of loggerhead turtles.
Loggerheads from eastern Australia are regularly recorded migrating between 1000 and 2600km between foraging and nesting grounds.
Our trackers have a battery life of at least 12 months and will transmit from the turtles foraging grounds through this year. The trackers were attached using a two part epoxy that stays at ambient temperature during the curing process. The tracker and surrounding area was treated with a paint that prevents bio fouling of the tagging equipment.
Lyndon and Nicky Davis assisted us with naming the turtles based on their defining characteristics. The first turtle has been named Gai’ya’djin djingang (pronounced kai-ya-thin jinung) which means ‘bite foot’ in Kabi Kabi language. She had a small bite on one of her rear flippers, which was a defining characteristic that Lyndon noticed during her release.
Gai’ya’djin djingang nested at Bokarina 12 days after her previous nest (and tracker attachment) and she has since travelled to the Tweed coastline. She ranged around 70km during her inter-nesting period between the Sunshine Coast and the southern part of Moreton Island, which is well above the known upper limit of travel during this period.
The second turtle has been named Gandugan (pronounced Gan-du-gun) which means Giant Crane in Kabi Kabi language. This name represents our Turtlecare volunteer Dot Crane and her late husband Errol who first met this turtle in the late 2000's. Dot has tracked this turtle with special interest, and this name is particularly relevant because the brolga mates for life, representing a special bond between two individuals. Gandugan is easily identified by her track, and despite not being tagged until this season, has a traceable history from the photographic records of her tracks.
Gandugan is still travelling to her foraging grounds, we look forward to seeing her journey unfold.
View a summary of the turtles and their movements to date:
A big thank you to the support team who have assisted with this project.
Read more about turtles of the Sunshine Coast.