Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 Aug 2011
WWF has received numerous reports from aboriginal groups on the north-eastern coast of Australia of large numbers of sick, starving and dead turtles washing up on beaches. The reports come following the loss of sea grasses after Cyclone Yasi and floods hit the area back in February.
The increase in turtle deaths for April may be more than five times higher this year compared to the same time last year.
“If these numbers are accurate, then this is a shocking development for the Great Barrier Reef” said WWF’s Conservation on Country Manager Cliff Cobbo. “We urgently need clarification from the Queensland Government on how many turtles are being found dead along the Great Barrier Reef coast”.
Turtle hospitals in Townsville, Queensland are being overwhelmed with sick and starving animals and do not have the resources to handle the number of turtles expected to need emergency care over the next 18 months.
Some local aboriginal groups have been so concerned by what they are seeing they plan to suspend issuing hunting permits within their saltwater country.
CEO of the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Phil Rist, said large numbers of dead turtles and dugongs had been found in recent weeks and that strandings are occurring on a weekly basis. Continue reading