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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Turtle education bid for Green Island

THE Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is seeking government funding to build a turtle education centre on Green Island where students can learn to care for endangered sea turtles and other marine life.

Centre co-founder Jennie Gilbert said plans to develop the fourth turtle rehabilitation centre in Cairns were underway following a sizeable donation from a Swedish charitable organisation.

“The Perfect World Foundation partnered with sustainable beauty product manufacturer Maria Nila to raise $US100,000 through The Friendly Year, a year of campaigns to raise money for a wildlife cause,” she said.

“It is a huge honour for the Foundation to select the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. 

“Over the 12 months of fundraising, we also benefitted from extensive coverage through numerous media channels showcasing the work involved with rehabilitation together with promoting global turtle conservation.

“Maria Nila said it was the largest fundraiser they have had since inception. 

“The donation will assist the volunteer organisation to not only rehabilitate turtles, but to educate the next generation about what they can do to mitigate the threats surrounding the decline of sea turtles.”

Cairns turtle rehabilitation centre co founder jennie gilbert releasing a green sea turtle on the great barrier reef Image supplied
Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre co founder Jennie Gilbert releasing a green sea turtle on the Great Barrier Reef IMAGE Supplied

The centre will be set up as an educational centre for local Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. 

“By having students working on Green Island with turtles we will be working towards taking ownership of issues such as ocean pollution, discarded fishing apparatus, and poaching,” Ms Gilbert said.

“Building a fourth centre on Green Island will further expand our capabilities to rehabilitate turtles, however, to achieve it we need an additional funding to add to The Perfect World foundation’s generous donation.

“Since opening in 2000 we have saved more than 500 marine turtles and now have more than 100 volunteers giving up their time at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

“I am very proud that in the past 24 years we increased the success rate of rehabilitation and release of turtles from 35 per cent to 95 per cent.

“The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre also undertakes research on the ecological impact on endangered and vulnerable species, tracks released turtles via satellite, and contributes to conservation documentaries.”

The Quicksilver Group is sponsoring the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre by providing the site on the Green Island Resort’s land, access to infrastructure including the desalinator and power, and transfers for volunteers with Great Adventures.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: JCU investigates universal flu protection and The Reef House appoints Sleep Director.

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