Tiwi Land Council


Secrets of the Olive Ridley

In 2004 the Tiwi Land Council entered a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to undertake research work on olive ridley turtles. At the completion of the WWF project, Tiwi Landowners decided to continue this important work. The olive ridley is an endangered species, and very little is known about it in Australia. The Tiwi Islands are an important breeding area for these turtles, and every year Tiwi Marine and Land Rangers camp at Imalu Beach to monitor nesting success. In 2007 Traditional Owners placed a total ban on collecting turtle eggs from a stretch of beach that is particularly significant for olive ridley turtle nesting.

Satellite transmitters were attached to track the movements of olive ridley turtles, and learn about their behaviour.

Colin watches an olive ridley turtle lay her eggs.

Tiwi schools each adopted a turtle, and watched it’s progress on the web site. Click here to see where the turtles are now on the WWF web site.

Very few of these hatchlings will make it to adult size

Crocodiles often take turtles as they are nesting - crocodile track overlaying turtle track.

The project showed that feral dogs were the major threat, as they dig up the nests and eat the eggs.

Jack releasing hatchlings