Mamma turtle tracks

A track from yesterday morning's meander ... I think she's a Hawksbill but could possibly be a Flatback. Either one is great news as Hawksbill turtles are listed as critically endangered and Flatbacks we don't get to see very often around here! The most common turtles we see here are the Green sea turtle (whose tracks look like a single tractor wheel track as she moves both front flippers in unison when pulling herself up the beach) and Loggerheads turtles (whose tracks look similar to the one above with right and left flippers moving alternately but without the tail drag and much larger). Hawksbill turtles are endangered not because of being hunted for their flesh (which is actually poisonous to humans) but because of being hunted for their shell, which is the classic turtle shell pattern. When you see combs, sunnies or jewellery that are genuine turtle shell, they have most likely been made from the shell of a Hawksbill turtle. By most estimates there are approximately only 20,000 female Hawksbills left in the world! So it is really special that we still have them visiting the Ningaloo and further north along the coast to nest every year.

Posted on February 22, 2017 .