Community rallies to protect our tiny turtles
  • Thursday 12 February 2015
Turtle hatchlings

When Sunshine Coast Council put out the call for beach-goers to help protect turtle nests, our community rallied to the cause and spread the message far and wide.

Yesterday council reported three incidences of turtle nest tampering the past week and urged residents to leave the mesh covering turtle nests alone as it was essential in protecting nests from foxes.

Council also put the call out the community to report anyone tampering with the nests.

Within hours of posting the call, Council’s Facebook page had been shared 600 times and had reached more than 36,600 people.

Local and Brisbane media also got on board, publishing stories and interviewing Council’s Turtle and Wildlife Conservation Officer Kate Winter to help get the message out.

Thanks to everyone’s efforts the pitter patter of tiny turtles will be more plentiful in the coming weeks as some of our littlest creatures make their way to the sea.

Since their ancient ancestors took their first step into the oceans, sea turtles have been returning to the land to lay their eggs on beaches around the world.

While this strategy has served them well for more than 100 million years, today all sea turtle species are experiencing a range of human interferences that threaten their continued survival.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said there were still about 35 nests to emerge on Coast beaches from Buddina to Bribie Island.

“The mesh is pegged down and tagged with a TurtleCare label and phone number so we’re unsure why people are removing it,” Cr McKay said.

“The construction mesh prevents predation by foxes and dogs, while still allowing hatchlings to emerge naturally. The mesh is of a sufficient gauge that hatchlings can emerge easily.

“There are only 500 nesting females in eastern Australia and the Sunshine Coast population continues to be vital to the long term survival of this species.

“One of the biggest threats to loggerhead hatchlings is the introduced European red fox and to a lesser extent, from unrestrained dogs on nesting beaches.

“It’s important that members of the public do not dig into turtle nests, and allow hatchlings to naturally emerge.

If you see anyone tampering with a turtle nest, report it to Council’s TurtleCare 0437 559 067.  See more at: http://bit.ly/1yHYZAh.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on Facebook.