A database has been developed that brings together records of sea turtles from state and commonwealth government wildlife databases, newspaper articles, reports from commercial and recreational fish operators, and anecdotal sightings as early as 1889.
Since April 2014 we have gathered over 209 sea turtle sightings from all over the southern Australian region, including waters off South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
The sighting records gathered so far are only scratching the surface with what we expect to be there. We currently have over 100 sightings and collection records to add from Tasmania which will dramatically alter the distribution of sightings on our current sightings map.
The data is already yielding important information on sea turtles for southern Australia. For example, all species of sea turtle have been recorded for these southern waters except the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. Leatherback turtles have the highest occurrence, and appear to be sighted more often in summer-autumn than the rest of the year (see figure below).
Graeme and Margie wish to thank contributors and assistance provided so far to the database including:
- Atlas of Living Australia (ALA)
- Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA)
- Tasmanian Natural Values Atlas (TNVA)
- Biological Databases of South Australia (BDSA)
- Australian Marine Ecology (AME, Dave Donnelly)
- Victorian Department Environment & Primary Industries (DEPI, Andrew Arnould & Ian Smith)
- State Wide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams (SWIFFT)
- Tasmanian Department Primary Industry, Parks, Water & Environment (DPIPWE, Dr Rachel Alderman & Kris Carlyon)
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG, Belinda Bauer & Kathryn Medlock)
- Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW, Bob Prince)
- Deakin University (John Berry, Richard Zavalas & Antoine Dujon)