- Thursday 23 June 2016
It’s time for us to say farewell to our 2015/16 season turtles as the 6,380 little hatchlings now make their long and treacherous journey across the high seas.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the Sunshine Coast was home to around five percent of the national loggerhead turtle population, making the efforts of council and local volunteers to help the hatchlings reach this stage incredibly important.
“In an effort to rebuild the dwindling loggerhead turtle population, our TurtleCare volunteers do a remarkable job helping relocate nests, recording numbers, identifying species and protecting nests from predators,” Cr McKay said.
“This season, between November 2015 and May 2016, 143 registered volunteers contributed an estimated 4,766 hours patrolling our beaches early mornings and late afternoons.
“The first nesting turtle was spotted on November 14 and from 66 nests and 116 nesting events, around 6,400 turtle hatchlings emerged between Caloundra and Pt Cartwright.
“A further 16 nests were recorded by Coolum & North Shore Coast Care on the northern Sunshine Coast beaches.
“This season less than five percent of eggs were affected by predation, indicating the work of our volunteers to apply predation mesh to nests has clearly had a positive impact on hatchling survival.
“Sadly, the fight isn’t over for our 2015/16 season hatchlings though with only 1 in 1000 hatchlings estimated to survive to adulthood.
“You can still do your bit to help by ensuring our beaches, coastlines and oceans are free from litter and debris as records show more than one million marine animals – including many turtles – die every single year from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.”
For more information and tips on caring for turtles visit the local TurtleCare website.