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Partnership in place to protect species of global biodiversity significance in Torres Strait

TSRA Land and Sea Management Unit, Malu Kiai (Boigu) Rangers tagging a juvenile green turtle which contributes to the international turtle tagging program

The Torres Strait Regional Authority’s (TSRA) Land and Sea Management Unit has entered into a five-year agreement with the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment to protect some of the region’s unique natural values for future generations.

Funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program will help the TSRA’s Land and Sea Management Unit and Torres Strait Traditional Owners to continue to work together to ensure the sustainable management of dugongs and marine turtles and their habitats (including seagrass meadows and coral reefs).

Ongoing research and monitoring will inform community-based planning, decisions and management actions for dugongs and marine turtles.

In addition, the project will equip Rangers with the skills to monitor the health of migratory shorebirds passing through the region, and assist with global conservation efforts for the endangered Eastern Curlew.

The funding will also enable the TSRA to develop a regional report card that will help us to better understand the health of key values in the region, and the effectiveness of management efforts to maintain healthy land and sea country into the future.

The TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the partnership will support the maintenance and protection of the region’s key environmental values as identified in the Land and Sea Management Strategy for Torres Strait.

“Some of the largest continuous seagrass meadows are found in Torres Strait, and it is renowned as the dugong capital of the world,” Mr Stephen said.

“The Torres Strait has been identified in a global study to be one of 50 coral reef areas worldwide that are of greatest value to conservation in the face of rapid climate change.

“Our region is also home of the migratory route for all seven species of marine turtles found in Australia, and has the largest population of nesting Hawksbill turtles in the world.

“Many of the birds found in Torres Strait are migratory and of international significance – including the critically endangered Eastern Curlew.

“Our formal partnership with the Department of Environment is greatly welcomed, and will allow our Land and Sea Management Unit, in conjunction with our partners, to carry out this vital work to ensure the continued health of the unique species and habitats in our region.”

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.