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Article

Regional Ranking of Marine Turtle Nesting in Remote Western Australia by Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Remote Sensing

1
Western Australia Marine Science Institution, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
2
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Marine Science Program, Kensington, WA 6151, Australia
3
Pendoley Environmental, Booragoon, WA 6154, Australia
4
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis Program, Kensington, WA 6151, Australia
5
Indigenous Saltwater Advisory Group Program, P.O. Box 47, Broome, WA 6726, Australia
6
Department of Parks and Wildlife, Broome, WA 6056, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Kimberley Rangers are recognized by Contributor Roles Taxonomy as coauthors and as individuals in the Acknowledgements sections. E-mail address: [email protected].
Academic Editors: John F. Weishampel, Simona A. Ceriani, Mariana M.P.B. Fuentes, Gail Schofield and SeungHyun Son
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(22), 4696; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13224696
Received: 7 September 2021 / Revised: 11 October 2021 / Accepted: 11 November 2021 / Published: 20 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Applications for Sea Turtle Conservation)
Western Australia’s remote Kimberley coastline spans multiple Traditional Owner estates. Marine turtle nesting distribution and abundance in Indigenous Protected Areas and newly declared Marine Parks were assessed by aerial photogrammetry surveys for the Austral summer and winter nesting seasons. Images of nesting tracks were quantified in the lab and verified by ad hoc ground patrols. The rankings of log-scaled plots of track abundance and density give guidance to regional co-management planning. Spatial and temporal differences were detected in that remoter islands had higher nesting usage and few terrestrial predators. The surveys found year-round green turtle nesting peaking in summer, as well as spatial boundaries to the summer and winter flatback stocks. Summer surveys recorded 126.2 island activities per km and 17.7 mainland activities per km. Winter surveys recorded 65.3 island activities per km and quantified a known winter mainland rookery with 888 tracks/km. The three highest density rookeries were found to be winter flatback turtles at Cape Domett, summer green turtles at the Lacepede Islands and summer flatback turtles at Eighty Mile Beach. Moderate to lesser density nesting by summer green turtles and winter flatback turtles occurred in the North Kimberley offshore islands. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and ground-based surveys verified the harder-to-detect species (olive ridley or hawksbill turtles) with irregular nesting, low track persistence and non-aggregated nesting. Higher-density rookeries may provide locations for long-term monitoring using repeated aerial or ground surveys; however, the sparse or infrequently nesting species require insights gleaned by Tradition Ecological Knowledge. Common and conspicuous nesters are easily detected and ranked, but better-informed co-management requires additional ground surveys or surveys timed with the reproductive peaks of rarer species. View Full-Text
Keywords: co-management; aerial survey; photogrammetry; sea turtle; track count; nesting distribution; abundance; regional ranking co-management; aerial survey; photogrammetry; sea turtle; track count; nesting distribution; abundance; regional ranking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tucker, A.D.; Pendoley, K.L.; Murray, K.; Loewenthal, G.; Barber, C.; Denda, J.; Lincoln, G.; Mathews, D.; Oades, D.; Whiting, S.D.; Rangers, M.G.; Rangers, B.; Rangers, W.G.; Rangers, D.; Rangers, M.; Rangers, B.J.; Rangers, N.N.; Rangers, Y.; Rangers, K.; Rangers, N.; Rangers, N. Regional Ranking of Marine Turtle Nesting in Remote Western Australia by Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Remote Sensing. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 4696. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13224696

AMA Style

Tucker AD, Pendoley KL, Murray K, Loewenthal G, Barber C, Denda J, Lincoln G, Mathews D, Oades D, Whiting SD, Rangers MG, Rangers B, Rangers WG, Rangers D, Rangers M, Rangers BJ, Rangers NN, Rangers Y, Rangers K, Rangers N, Rangers N. Regional Ranking of Marine Turtle Nesting in Remote Western Australia by Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Remote Sensing. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(22):4696. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13224696

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tucker, Anton D., Kellie L. Pendoley, Kathy Murray, Graham Loewenthal, Chris Barber, Jai Denda, Gina Lincoln, Dean Mathews, Daniel Oades, Scott D. Whiting, Miriuwung G. Rangers, Balanggarra Rangers, Wunambal G. Rangers, Dambimangari Rangers, Mayala Rangers, Bardi J. Rangers, Nyul N. Rangers, Yawuru Rangers, Karajarri Rangers, Nyangumarta Rangers, and Ngarla Rangers. 2021. "Regional Ranking of Marine Turtle Nesting in Remote Western Australia by Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Remote Sensing" Remote Sensing 13, no. 22: 4696. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13224696

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