Turtle carers outfox predators on local beaches
  • Thursday 08 April 2010

Sunshine Coast Council is engaging a new weapon – aluminium nest protection devices – in a bid to outfox predators and give thousands of turtle hatchlings their best chance at life.

Environment portfolio holder, Councillor Keryn Jones, said council is trialling 10 of the devices to keep foxes from digging in to nests in search of turtle eggs along our beaches.

“Foxes have learnt how to breach the plastic nest protection previously used, and this season they have penetrated more nest chambers than usual,’’ Cr Jones said.

“Council staff responded to the challenge by coming up with this new device, to be trialled over the remaining turtle hatching period. It is fabricated from aluminium and it will be placed over the nest chamber to keep foxes at bay while still allowing the baby turtles to safely emerge.”

Council is also undertaking strategic fox control in the nesting areas.

Cr Jones said council had built a close partnership with local community groups to help protect turtle nests along 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.’’

Last season more than 50 nests were identified between Caloundra’s Kings Beach and Noosa Heads and more than 4000 hatchlings made their way to the ocean.

People who see turtle tracks, nesting turtles or turtle hatchlings are asked to call TurtleCare Sunshine Coast coordinator, Julie O'Connor, at the Sunshine Coast Council on 5499 5136.

Visit www.turtlecare.com.au for more information on marine turtles on the Sunshine Coast.