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A wet week on the nesting beach

Gathering the data to monitor turtle populations doesn't end when the turtles leave the nesting ground. Summer may be over but there is still plenty to do.

Last week, months after the last hatchling made its way down the beach and into the ocean, Pendoley Environmental field staff headed north to download data from temperature loggers buried in the sand.

The beach temperature study has been ongoing at this location for over a decade, continually logging information on conditions below the sand surface, where the turtles lay their eggs. 

The loggers are deployed in a sub-surface array at key sites on the main flatback turtle nesting beaches. The team successfully downloaded and redeployed the loggers, which will gather data from now until this time next year.

On this trip, the unusually heavy rain made for interesting conditions and changed the scenery of typically dry Barrow Island. Over 48 mm of rain fell within 24 hours. That much rain is almost the total average rainfall for the whole month of June, in a single night. The result? The flooding you can see in the photos.