Raine Island Green Turtle recovery project
Raine Island, on the remote northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef is the breeding ground for one of the world’s largest populations of green turtles.
During the nesting season, as many as 60,000 female green turtles swim thousands of kilometres from their feeding grounds in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Torres Strait and the West Pacific, to this tiny island to lay their eggs.
This amazing natural event however is under threat and the island’s role as a turtle sanctuary is in danger of collapse.
Rising sea levels and changes in the island’s landscape have caused tidal inundation—killing newly laid eggs which cannot survive under water—and causing as many as 2000 adult turtles in a season to die from falls and entrapment in rocky cliffs.
This, combined with general habitat loss, boat strikes, over harvesting and pollution, has put the green turtle in serious danger.
The Queensland Government, BHP Billiton, the Traditional Owners and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation are collaborating on a five year, $7.95M project to protect and restore Raine Island’s critical habitat to ensure the future of key marine species including green turtles and seabirds.
To secure the future of this vital nesting site, the Raine Island Recovery project will encompass work like:
- beach engineering
- sand replenishment
- turtle tagging
- remote sensing including video recording and weather stations
- tide and sea level monitoring, and
- 3D modelling using GPS survey technology.