Sea Turtle conservation at Cape York – an environmental outreach campaign

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Sea Turtle conservation at Cape York – an environmental outreach campaign 2017-08-06T10:28:34+00:00

Project Description

Cape York and the Flatback Turtle

Cape York, located at the northernmost point of Australia and surrounded by Torres Strait waters, is an important área for sea turtle conservation. Crab Island, at the western part of Cape York, is one of the few places in the world where the flatback turtle (Natator depressus) nests.

Flatback turtles are endemic to Australia. Their nesting grounds are limited to this continent and, appart from here, they can only be found at the southern region of Indonesia and around Papua New Guinea. Due to their cultural inheritance, Cape York’s aboriginal communities have the exploitation rights of this species among other marine animals.

Due to the importance that this área has for flatback turtles, the involvement of Cape York’s local communities on the conservation is paramount. For this purpose, Torres Strait regional authorities together with James Cook University researchers carry out outreach campaigns in order to educate and raise awareness on the conservation of this species.

Production of an environmental education book

M.F. is a researcher at James Cook University. She is specialist in marine megafauna and has been working for several years in building the capacity of local communities on marine species conservation.

She contacted us for the production of an educational book to support the development of an outreach campaign focused on sea turtle conservation at Cape York. The objective was producing a sea turtle book in which flatback turtle and olive ridley turtle (Lepydochelis olivacea), another inhabitant of this área, will be the main characters. The book should include general information about the seven existing sea turtle species and specific information oabout the aforementioned ones.
The book will be destined to the children of up to 12 years old, and for its development we will count with the assistance of teachers and tutees of Western Cape College. While the book was being produced, the children from this college were assigned to draw the values that flatback and olive turtles represent for them. These drawings were included at the end of the book and helped to strengthen the involvement of local communities on the campaign.

Pages of A sea turtle lesson with Traina and Tjanna.

Adapting the message

For the production of the book, it was necessary to transform scientific information into attractive messages easy to understand by children. However, in this case the biggest challenge consisted in representing the morphological features of the different sea turtle species without making the drawings too complex or serious, as we wanted to keep an appealing style for kids.

Likewise, in order to get a faithful representation, the sea turtle distribution maps, landscapes, humans, plants and animals present on the book have been depicted based on real data or images from Cape York.

The book was named A Sea Turtle Lesson with Traina and Tjanna, and its distribution for non-lucrative educational purposes is permitted. Do you want to download the ebook in pdf version? Download.

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