Turtles nest during summer, so beach monitoring occurs each morning between 1 November and 31 March.
Where does the monitoring occur?
Bells Beach near Cape Lambert Port Operations is the main beach monitored by the volunteers.
A recent pilot study was undertaken at Cleaverville during the 2013–14 season. The pilot study will be extended through the 2014–15 program, and may expand in the future depending on volunteer interest and nesting sea turtle activity.
Who is involved, and what do they do?
The community-based West Pilbara Turtle Program relies on volunteer members. Turtle Program volunteers are registered with Parks and Wildlife, and covered by the department's insurance.
After completing a short training course, volunteers conduct daily monitoring of turtle nesting activity on a roster system.
Monitoring occurs at first light while tracks (made during the night) are still fresh and conditions are not too hot.
The time it takes depends on the length of the beach and the number of tracks found—a typical track count usually takes between an hour and ninety minutes.
How much time is involved?
The program appreciates any time you can contribute.
Members can commit to as much or as little time as they can manage.
The program's roster system allows volunteers to know the monitoring dates well in advance.
Can't do the track counts but still want to be involved?
There are many other ways you can contribute to the program:
offer billeted accommodation for non-local volunteers
assist volunteers without transportation
receive and share our newsletters
spread the word and help recruit more members.
How do I register?
Rio Tinto is proud to be the founding partner of the program, which has been running since the 2005–06 marine turtle nesting season.
Recently the partnership was renewed to June 2016, with $155,000 contributed from Rio Tinto towards the delivery of the program.