Monday, February 15, 2010

Coral cays, hawksbills, crocodiles, cyclones and snakes!

We have just returned from Milman Island where we assisted Sea turtle Foundation and QPWS with the annual monitoring of hawksbill turtles at this important rookery. Rangers from Injinoo also attended for 1 week and assisted in data collection and attachment of a satellite transmitter to a hawksbill.
A hovering cyclone on the east coast meant the weather was a little rough durng the first period. King tides and strong winds caused the loss of sand from the nesting beach and washed away many clutches. The wall of sand which remained made it difficult for turtles to access nesting sites.
Overall, it was an average year for hawksbills and numbers keep decreasing each year. It was a quiet year for greens as predicted - their nesting cycles are linked with the southern oscillation.
The wildlife on the island kept us on our toes - we had to contend with crocodiles on the beaches and amethyst pythons waiting to ambush us from trees (as fellow researcher Tim will attest!)!

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