Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Jellyfish, turtles, tides, pearls, goannas and crocodiles on the Kimberley coast

[April 2016]

The 2016 Science on the Broome Coast series commenced this month, providing the community and visitors the opportunity to hear about the fascinating research underway along the Kimberley coast.

The science series that started in 2014, is the creation of the Roebuck Bay Working Group (RBWG), Yawuru Land and Sea Unit, Inspiring Australia and Rangelands NRM.

RBWG program manager Kandy Curran said the idea behind the series is to showcase the scientific discoveries being made, and to contribute and apply learnings from research to better manage and understand the extraordinary natural and cultural values of the Kimberley coast.

“In years gone by, scientists undertaking research in the Kimberley, would only transit in Broome for essential supplies before travelling into the region,” Mrs Curran said.

More recently, however, the town by the bay has become a favourite stopover for scientists so they can be part of the series”.

Additionally, the series has become so popular, six sponsors have come on board to support the innovative project.

The 2016 program includes a line-up of presentations from local, national and international scientists and indigenous people.

Mrs Curran said the first half of the year presentations include, myths and truths about marine stingers, nesting sea turtles and breeding sea snakes, and the highly specialised corals that thrive in the tidal seawaters of the Kimberley.

The second half includes the human story of pearling that weaves together Aboriginal, Asian and European histories, taste aversion training for goannas to help them avoid ingesting cane toads, Kimberley tides with telescopes and crocodiles in the Kimberley.

Inspiring Australia is the principle funder of Science on the Broome Coast, with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution, Yawuru Land and Sea Unit, University of Notre Dame Broome, Rangelands NRM through the Federal Government Landcare Programme and the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife as co-sponsors.

“There is so much to discover and understand about the Kimberley coast and this is a unique opportunity for scientists to inform, interact and collaborate with local communities and visitors to the region about their amazing research work,” Mrs Curran said.

To download the program go to the Roebuck Bay Working Group website

Scientist Georgia Ward-Fear will explain on 20 July how to train a floodplain goanna to avoid toxic cane toads. © Georgia Ward Fear
Aerial view of winter nesting flatback turtles on the Kimberley coast. © Parks and Wildlife