Since CICI started in 2017, we have been doing population studies on both Green and Hawksbill sea turtles over the nesting season. It reveals some very interesting information on the size of the population of the different species utilizing the Conflict Islands as a nesting habitat. To date there have been more then 1,250 turtles tagged with in the Conflict Islands Atoll, representing a significant nesting population for the Milne Bay region.
It takes years to get enough data to enable an estimate of population size to be determined, through intensive nesting beach surveying. This is one of CICI's long term goals, and how we are contributing to the global deficiency of data for turtles in the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean.
In the 2019-2020 season the 3 vital months for protection as you can see are November December and January, but with some early nester's in October from the Green turtles.
It is in these months that the turtles are very vulnerable to poaching as the mothers haul their 300+kg bodies out of the water and up on the beach to lay their nests. Their nests can contain over 190 eggs with our record number of eggs in one clutch being 198 from on of the Hawksbill turtles in our 2018-2019 season.