Between working at Embella and completing an Honours degree in Environmental Science at Charles Darwin University (CDU) our resident turtle girl Ella also volunteers at AusTurtle to look after the local turtles.
When asked about AusTurtle you could see the excitement in Ella’s face as she proceeded to give some amazing information about the works they do.
“I’ve always had a connection to the planet, and wanted to work towards something greater. This led me to finding AusTurtle, hopping on a boat and never looking back. I love the work they do, which I’m now apart of to preserve and protect our turtles.”
AusTurtle is a not for profit organisation based in the Northern Territory that has been running since 1996 working to better the natural environment of sea turtles and aid in the regrowth of the species. Run by Mick Guinea, who has dedicated the last 40 years to sea snake and sea turtle research and conservation.
Each year between June and July there are opportunities for locals to volunteer and be apart of the AusTurtle team.
“People will experience the real hard work that goes on to make sure that we’re giving the turtles the best chance of survival. Jobs can include tagging and measuring the turtles, counting the nests and eggs in them and my favourite one, the turtle surveys.”
Turtle surveys involve counting the turtle’s fins, identifying any existing tags, measuring the carapace (turtle’s shell), observing if there are any injuries, or finding any unique identifiers to differentiate one turtle from another.
During nesting season 300-600 turtles can be seen on the beach coming back to nest, where each turtle can lay up to five nests in two-week intervals. The hatchlings research happens in the morning at sunrise to not disturb the hatching process when the hatchlings are making their way home to the sea. The hatch nests are located and eggs are counted.
“Every set of tracks from the nest is a success story for us. It’s why we do our jobs and what we’re striving to protect.”
AusTurtle is proud to say that they run the only rehabilitation centre located between Exmouth and Carins here in Australia. Found in the Horticulture centre at CDU which has been running for over 10 years. This centre provides support and treatment to sick and injured turtles. By providing care to the turtles, it’s giving them the best chance of survival when they are released back to the ocean.
“The rehab centre is a great way for people to learn more about turtles. It makes you understand that your actions can impact the wellbeing of these creatures.”
For more information on AusTurtle, check out their website here.
This month we are proud to say we will be donating $1 from every piece sold from our Sea Life and Spirals of the Sea collections to AusTurtle to support the great work they are doing. We at Embella love the ocean and all its creatures and want to provide awareness and support how we can.