- Thursday 06 August 2009
More than 70 local conservation volunteers are celebrating a turtle-nesting season which saw more than 4000 Loggerhead hatchlings make their way safely from nests to the sea.
Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment Portfolio holder, Keryn Jones, said council had built a close partnership with local community groups to help protect turtle nests across the coast.
“Community groups such as Turtle Care Sunshine Coast and Coolum Coast Care – along with many individuals – play a vital part in identifying, protecting and monitoring nests to ensure hatchlings have the best possible chance of survival,’’ Councillor Jones said.
“Council works very closely with the volunteers and we once again congratulate everyone involved for the excellent results of their hard work.
”Turtle Care Sunshine Coast coordinator Julie O'Connor said 56 nests were identified between Caloundra’s Kings Beach and Noosa Heads this season and more than 4000 hatchlings made their way to the ocean.
“Given that there are only around 500 nesting Loggerheads along Australia's east coast, the Sunshine Coast population is small but significant,” Ms O’Connor said.
Turtle Care Sunshine Coast volunteers maintain a turtle monitoring program for nesting activity on beaches between Golden Beach and Point Cartwright, with Coolum Coast Care responsible for monitoring beaches to the north. Volunteers, with support from the council, identify and record species, nesting locations and frequency, protect nests from fox predation and monitor the success of nests.
Ms O’Connor said the volunteers mark the end of each season with a barbecue and get-together to celebrate a job well done.
“We are very pleased to be joined this year by Dr Col Limpus, Senior Principal Conservation Officer with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service – and one of the world’s leading turtle experts,” she said.
“Many people donate a lot of their time and efforts towards helping these Loggerhead Turtle hatchlings. We’ve got about 4000 good reasons to celebrate this year.”
Ms O’Connor said the volunteers’ barbecue was sponsored by Westpac as part of the bank’s contribution to the environment and local communities.
For more information on marine turtles on the Sunshine Coast visit http://www.turtlecare.com.au.