News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

Help save sea turtles washed up on beaches

Loggerhead hatchling
Loggerhead hatchling Rick Dawson

Beach visitors in Perth and the south-west are being asked to keep an eye out for stranded sea turtles.

Regional wildlife officer Cam Craigie, from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), said anyone finding a turtle washed up on a beach should immediately call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

“These turtles are often very small loggerhead hatchlings, about 10cm in length, which have been brought south from tropical regions on the strong Leeuwin current,” Mr Craigie said.

“Storms can often cause turtles to become tired, resulting in them being caught in seaweed and ending up on our beaches.”

Mr Craigie said in cold southern waters turtles could be affected by “cold water stunning”, which can leave the animals susceptible to bacteria and parasitic infections.

“The turtles can also be vulnerable to predators like seabirds and other animals,” he said.

“So if you are walking along the beach and see a stranded turtle please call DPaW’s Wildcare Helpline straight away. Please do not attempt to care for it yourself.

“We will arrange for it to be transported to one of the State’s volunteer marine rehabilitation centres, or to a vet for assessment.

Mr Craigie said rescued sea turtles were assessed by the Perth Zoo before being returned to rehabilitation centres including the Aquarium of Western Australia, Dolphin Discovery Centre at Bunbury, Naragebup Rockingham Regional Environment Centre, Chelonia at Broome and Ocean Park at Denham.

Sub-adult green turtles were also known to wash up on metropolitan and south-west beaches.

All six species of marine turtles found in WA waters are protected under the State’s Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

For more information about sea turtles in WA visit www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/marine/

Report sick, injured or stranded native animals to the 24-hour Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpawwa

Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE