They're coming ...
  • Monday 17 November 2014
Turtle hatchling heading for the ocean

Sunshine Coast Council is getting ready for the local turtle season just as the first turtle nest has been spotted in Bundaberg.

On Saturday, council hosted a training day for 100 Turtle volunteers from across the region, re-creating a real-life scenario on Kawana Beach with conditions that mimicked an extreme weather event. Volunteers learned how to relocate and protect turtle nests.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the TurtleCare program is a great example of council and the community working together to protect the environment.

“There are only 500 nesting females in eastern Australia so our local loggerheads are a small but important sub-population, vital to the long term survival of this species,” Cr McKay said.

“Generally, the annual turtle nesting season is November to December with hatchlings emerging around early January. The coastal strip between Point Cartwright and Shelly Beach is a favourite site but turtles may also appear on other stretches of the Coast.

“Our volunteers do an amazing job helping relocate nests, recording numbers, identifying species and protecting nests from predators.

“Everyone can do their part. Beachgoers who observe turtles should call TurtleCare on 0437 559067, this allows volunteers to find the turtle nest and cover it with exclusion mesh to protect it from foxes.

“It’s also important to switch off any torches and ensure dogs are secured on leashes and kept well away.

“If you are fortunate enough to see a nesting female turtle it is also important to remain very still. Turtles are sensitive to movement and are likely to return to the water if they detect too much disturbance around them.”

Beachgoers are also urged to dispose of all rubbish carefully during turtle season. For more information and tips on caring for turtles visit the local TurtleCare website.