Issue 14
Monday, 28 August 2017
Charles Darwin University
AusTurtle Treasurer Andrew Raith and CDU Maritime and Seafood team leader Chadd Mumme
AusTurtle Treasurer Andrew Raith and CDU Maritime and Seafood team leader Chadd Mumme

Grant gives turtles space to grow

By Leanne Miles

New turtle rehabilitation tanks will be established at Casuarina campus Aquaculture precinct thanks to a $23,000 Animal Welfare Grant from the Northern Territory Government.

Maritime and Seafood team leader Chadd Mumme said the grant would enable the team to work with AusTurtle Incorporated to set up a new system to care for marine turtles of all shapes and sizes.

“The new system will consist of three 1000L tanks, six 450L tanks, 12 x 250L tanks with stands, pumps and filters that will allow us to improve our capacity to care for more turtles,” he said. “It will also include a lifting harness for the larger turtles.”

Mr Mumme said the team at the Aquaculture Centre was currently rehabilitating seven Flatback and four Olive Ridley turtles.

“These all hatched at Bare Sand Island in June and arrived at CDU mid-June,” Mr Mumme said.

“Our staff work to keep the tanks clean, check water parameters daily (temperature and salinity) and keep them well fed on a diet of squid and prawns.”

The rehabilitation centre at CDU has been a collaborative effort between CDU, AusTurtle, the Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic, and NT Parks and Wildlife to support and maintain the health of sick sea turtles from across Northern Australia.

“The turtles rescued by Austurtle and Parks and Wildlife are diagnosed and treated by staff at the ARK Animal Hospital before being moved to big saltwater tanks at CDU for rehabilitation,” Mr Mumme said.

“The large saltwater tanks at our facility enable the turtles to readjust to the saltwater environment, assisting with final recovery and improve their condition to get them ready for release.”

He said the rehabilitation facility was also a great tool to educate students and the wider community about native marine turtles.