Rangers are having fantastic success protecting the nests of nationally endangered olive ridely turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) along beaches managed by the Pormpuraaw Land and Sea program. Since June, around 60 nests have had aluminium cages - designed by Pormpuraaw's Environmental Manager, Robbie Morris - installed to protect against predation on egg clutches by feral pigs, dogs and goannas. These cages have been incredibly successful with 100% of protected nests have remaining intact though to hatching.
Through the use of camera traps, the Rangers have caught images of feral pigs unsuccessfuly trying to get into nests. Whilst the initial cost of these cages may be relatively high, they will be used over many years, take minutes to install and are proving to be highly successful in increasing the nesting success of olive ridley turtles. An inreased Ranger presence on the beach at night and predator control activities have meant that a predation on unprotected nests has also been reduced compared to previous years.
Pormpuraaw's Junior Rangers have also spent time on the beaches learning about the importance of protecting this declining species and getting some hands-on experience in monitoring and protecting turtle nests.
The Pormpuraaw Rangers are one of the founding members of the Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance (WCTTAA) and were lucky enough to receive some funding through the Nest to Ocean Turtle Protection Program to support their turtle nest protection activities.