Day: March 6, 2007

Tuesdays with Turtles – Outback Edition

flatback-kp.jpgWell, since this blog gratuitously takes its name from a sea turtle, it’s only fair that there needs to be a turtle post at least once a week! Why Tuesday? Because it alliterates. Why not Thursday? Because apparently, Tuesday’s the day that you do things with other things, ask Morrie.

I confess to knowing very little about the flatback. It’s only found around Australia and is listed as threatened. This news item caught my attention (for obvious reasons)

Turtles may fall victim to Australian gas project – International Herald Tribune

The peak nesting season is just drawing to a close for the flatbacks, a threatened species of sea turtle found only in Australia, when thousands of palm-sized hatchlings emerge from eggs buried under the sand and race to the sea. Every second counts: Between them and the ocean lies an army of hungry predators: lizards, dogs, foxes and gulls. Most of the turtles will never taste saltwater.

Development is another threat. Until now, the flatbacks could find some respite off the coast west of here, on Barrow Island, one of the country’s oldest nature reserves. But now environmentalists say that Barrow’s flatbacks may be among the victims of a plan by the oil giant Chevron to use Barrow Island for a roughly $8.6 billion project meant to supply natural gas to Japan and other energy-hungry nations.

“The environment is being made to pay for a poor business development model,” said Chris Tallentire, director of the Conservation Council of Western Australia in Perth.