Dr Andy Dunstan and Dr Richard Fitzpatrick

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Richard Fitzpatrick - circle v2Andy Dunstan-cirlce photo v2

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Spatial technology supporting the recovery of Raine Island

Dr Andy Dunstan, Project Manager – Raine Island Recovery Project, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
Dr Richard Fitzpatrick, Director and Cinematographer, Biopixel


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5 Things You Will Learn

  1. Why Raine Island is so significant.
  2. The challenges facing Raine Island and its resident green turtles and bird populations.
  3. How the Raine Island Recovery Project is addressing this challenge through science and on-ground action
  4. How spatial technologies are helping to protect the world’s largest green turtle rookery
  5. The benefits of private-public partnerships in preserving ecologically significant habitats

Target Audience

This presentation will appeal particularly to environmental researchers, resource managers, and anyone who loves turtles.

Presentation Overview

Raine Island, located on the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, is the largest Green Turtle rookery in the world, and is home to a major Coral Sea seabird population. This tiny island, less than 32 hectares in size, can play host to up to 20,000 green turtles at one time and up to 100,000 in a single season – making this one of the most significant animal migrations on the planet. But changes in the islands landscape are placing the species in danger. The Raine Island Recovery Project, a partnership between the Queensland Government, BHP Billiton, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Traditional Owners, is taking action to protect and restore Raine Island’s critical habitat to ensure the future of key marine species including green turtles, seabirds and apex predators. Over a five year period this project is: restoring the island habitat through activities such as sand-reshaping and fencing; monitoring key island species – including turtles, seabirds and apex predators; undertaking research that is focused on increasing the resilience and viability of key species; and building indigenous ranger capacity. This presentation will describe the role that spatial technologies such as remote sensing, drones and satellite tagging are playing in helping to secure the future of this unique environment.

Biography – Dr Andy Dunstan

Dr Andy Dunstan is the senior conservation officer with the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Andy is leading the Raine Island Recovery Project – a joint private/public partnership to undertake ground breaking on-ground intervention works to protect and restore the world’s largest green turtle rookery. Andy has worked extensively throughout the Great Barrier Reef leading numerous research projects and continues to advise on numerous marine related protected area initiatives.

Leonie had accumulated more than 25 years of technology leadership experience in a broad range of industrial applications both locally and globally with a focus on the development and commercialization of technology. Complementary to the Lead Scientist role Leonie Walsh held the honorary role of President of the Australasian Industrial Research Group (AIRG) from 2011 to 2015 with the recent transition to a number of Executive level positions. In this role Leonie established international collaborations through a new World Federation of Industrial Research Associations and as a founding partner of the Australian Governments SME to Researcher collaboration (CAESIE) between Australia and the European Union.

Biography – Dr Richard Fitzpatrick

Richard Fitzpatrick is an Emmy winning cinematographer, as well as being a qualified marine biologist specialising in sharks. He has shot more than 50 films for clients such as the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel and is renowned for filming complex behavioural sequences – (including High Speed, Time Lapse, Motion Control and Underwater) many never seen before. Richard has also shot many presenter led programs – being able to switch quickly between topside and underwater filming as well as using many ‘toys’ he gives high production value on fast pace shoots.

Richard’s background before filming was as a marine biologist in public aquariums. He has worked at Oceanworld – Manly, Maui Ocean Centre- Hawaii and at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef HQ aquarium in Townsville.