PREDATOR TO PREY: Gidarjil man's fight to protect turtles
IT SHOULD come as no surprise the lengths volunteer groups and government-funded organisations will go to preserve the integrity of our turtle population.
Kelvin Rowe is a Sea Ranger with the Gidarjil Corporation, and being a member of the indigenous Taribelang tribe, the turtle is a totem of his tribe.
Working alongside Tom Garrett from Southern Queensland Landscapes, Mr Rowe is learning a hands-on approach to monitoring foxes - an introduced species preying on turtles during the hatching season.
Under Mr Garrett, Mr Rowe has learned how to set cameras, baits and traps to control the fox population.
Another part of Mr Rowe's work is monitoring turtle hatchings and checking up on eggs during hatching season.
"I'm proud to do the work," Mr Rowe said on Tuesday.
Mr Rowe will take up the work begun by Mr Garrett several years ago, work that has lead to the Mon Repos turtle hatchery not having a predation event in three years.
"I think in the early '70s they were losing 90 per cent of nests or hatchlings to fox predation," Mr Garrett said on Tuesday.
Mr Garrett has worked with Gidarjil to train rangers in the correct use of soft-jaw traps and the signs and indications of fox activity.
"So what I'm doing with Gidarjil is basically teaching them how to use a dog," he said.
"I hope one day they get a dog of their own.
"They're seeing the dog work and then I'm giving them training on how to set traps and use Den-CO-Fume.
"They'll go to an accredited training provider to get their Den-CO-Fume certificate but this is just giving them practice.
"So teaching them basically what to look for in the environment," Mr Garrett said.