Shark Bay women help gather important information on endangered loggerhead turtles

Posted: January 25th, 2018

Aboriginal women from Shark Bay have been involved in tagging endangered loggerhead turtles on Dirk Hartog Island, off WA’s Gascoyne coast, for the first time.

Bianca McNeair, who is one of the six women from Shark Bay, said it had been an amazing opportunity to be part of the turtle monitoring program. “We get to learn the other half of the information that we didn’t get to learn that we would’ve learned traditionally,” Ms McNeair said. “We also get to put together the information that our elders taught us when we were younger, and be able to say ah okay, so that’s why, you know, they told us to do things this way.”

The Department of Parks and Wildlife, which looks after the island, acknowledges the important partnership. “We get to learn from them as much as they do from us,” Shark Bay district ranger Dale Fitzgerald said. “[It is] really important to understand their desires and their values for these species and the land.”

The group monitored and tagged the turtles all through the night for four nights, often walking about 15 kilometres, but this did not seem to faze any of them. “You don’t even get tired. It’s just that excitement that keeps pushing you on,” Nykita McNeair said.

Read the full news article here: ABC MidWest News