An investigation of trematode infections impacting on marine turtle populations (2011–2016)
Marine turtles are proposed as sentinel indicators of environmental health, yet are threatened species. Parasites are a major cause of turtle disease and death. This established group of veterinarians,
parasitologists and conservation managers have shown that spirorchiid parasitism of the brain is a major
cause of sick turtles, contributing to 30-50% of turtle deaths in Queensland. Following scientifically based identification of the parasites involved, molecular techniques will be used to diagnose this infectious process and then develop screening tests to accurately monitor health in wild and rehabilitating turtles in densely
populated and contrasting pristine environments.