Turtle Nesting & Hatching
Marine Turtles have existed in the worlds oceans for over 100 million years; and here in Western Australia 6 out 7 of the worlds marine turtles can be found in our waters. The name for turtle in the Baiyungu language is 'Majun' and their eggs are 'Gawangga'
Snorkelers and swimmers have the potential to come across marine turtles in the ocean at Ningaloo all year round.
The Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill Turtles nest on the beaches surrounding the Ningaloo Reef from November to March.
Depending on the species, marine turtles can take anywhere from 10 - 50 years to start breeding and some can live for over 150 years! The only time a marine turtle leaves the ocean, is when a female crawls up the beach to lay her eggs. A female can nest every 2 to 8 years and lay anywhere from 1 to 10 clutches, which can include 30 to 180 eggs!
After 8 to 10 weeks the turtle hatchlings emerge from their nests in the sand to make a dash for the safety of the ocean. In natural conditions a hatchlings mortality rate is quite high and can be heightened by human interference, so If you see any nesting turtles or hatchlings on the beach please observe, but do not interfere.
The Ningaloo coast is considered one of the most important nesting grounds for the Green and Loggerhead turtles and if your thinking of going turtle watching in Exmouth a great place to visit is the Jurabi Turtle Centre. The centre is located on Yardie Creek road and is roughly 20kms from Exmouth. The Centre is an interpretative, educational facility, which is open to the public all year round.
Marine Turtles are intertwined with Western Australia’s rich Indigenous history and feature in stories, ceremonies, traditions and are a food source for coastal communities. Indigenous Australians also have a cultural and spiritual connection with these ancient seafaring animals.
All information here is courtesy of Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions