Students preserve Kimberley turtle populations

Students preserve Kimberley turtle populations

12 December 2022

In the news Public school life

Kimberley students are helping monitor turtle populations across the region to develop their science skills and make a real-world impact.

Roebuck Primary School students part of the school’s Environmental Student Action Team have been monitoring turtle populations at the world-famous Cable Beach. 

Science teacher Leanne Blackley worked with students and the Cable Beach Community Turtle Monitoring Program to monitor the flatback turtles that nest on Cable Beach between October and March.

The school liaised with Parks and Wildlife and a Yawuru ranger who provided background information about the turtles. Students then scanned for tracks and nests along a stretch of Cable Beach.

When found, students recorded the location and date on an app and placed a flag for rangers to replace with a more secure sign and information on when the eggs are expected to hatch. When hatchlings emerge, they are also recorded.

Roebuck Primary School students are monitoring turtles at Cable Beach.

This project allowed student leaders to support the preservation of the iconic flatback turtle, while also being environmental role models.

Ms Blackley said it was rewarding to provide students with the opportunity to explore where and how local turtles nest.

“As a science teacher, it has also been a chance to extend their knowledge about the life cycle of animals,” she said.

“These real-world applications of science allow students to see a career pathway for future protection of our environment.

“It is fantastic to have kids with a passion for the environment at such an early age when it is at the forefront of today's society.

“They have also learnt about our local flora and fauna and why it is important to look after it for future generations.”

La Grange Remote Community School students also took part in a similar project as part of the school’s two-way science program.

They had a turtle monitoring camp where 25 students were involved in turtle monitoring activities with Parks and Wildlife at 80 Mile Beach in the Kimberley.

Students counted and marked turtle tracks along the beach.