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Turtle research

All the research and tracking projects undertaken around the world are contributing to a growing knowledge that is helping us understand and protect the endangered sea turtles. We undertake this work in collaboration with the Queensland turtle conservation project from the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science.

Tracking turtles with tags

Since 1975 thousands of turtles have been tagged to help scientists understand more about the various stages in their life cycles. Titanium flipper tags can be applied to the turtle’s front flippers so every time the turtle is encountered its movements can be recorded.

This helps us to identify the turtles who return regularly to the Sunshine Coast. For example, K90712 is a nesting loggerhead that has returned to Buddina every 2-3 years since 2010, citizen scientists have recorded her nesting locally for 6 seasons. 

Tracking turtles via satellite trackers

Another method of tracking is to apply a non-invasive satellite tracker to the back of the turtle’s shell. This tells us where the turtle spends its time. This includes between nesting events (they can nest every 2 weeks for 3-5 times) and then eventually they return to their foraging grounds, and we can see where they live.

Follow along on their journey's below.

2022 season

2023 season

  • Mib'ir - follow the purple line
  • Geminid - follow the dark blue line

Sharing our knowledge

Read our comprehensive reports and scientific publications to learn more about turtle nesting in the Sunshine Coast and data collection by TurtleCare citizen scientists.


Sunshine Coast turtle nesting report 2005-2016 - this report summarises the results of monitoring the eastern Australian loggerhead populations during the 2005-2016 breeding seasons on Sunshine Coast regional beaches.

Artificial light at night report 2017 - this report established artificial light emission level on the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island in 2017. This document has had some sensitive information redacted to protect personal privacy.

Artificial light at night report 2022 - this report measured artificial light emission level on the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island in 2022. This document has had some sensitive information redacted to protect personal privacy.

Community engagement evaluation of the TurtleCare program 2018 - this report is a critical review of the citizen science within TurtleCare focused on the program aims and objectives, volunteer and community involvement and the identification of potential program gaps.

TurtleCare snapshot 2022/2023 - this annual snapshot summarises the 2022/2023 turtle season results, as well TurtleCare volunteer contributions, events and training.

Scientific publications

Anti predator meshing (PDF, 1.03MB) may provide greater protection for seas turtles nests than predator removal.

Satellite tagging and flipper tag recoveries (PDF, 2.18MB) reveal migration patterns and foraging distribution of loggerhead seas turtles (Caretta caretta).

Education and engagement 

Council and its TurtleCare program offer education and engagement opportunities for schools, events, and community.


TurtleCare offers presentations to schools and community groups interested in learning more about Turtles including biology, lifecycle, migration, and threats.

For schools the presentations are delivered in line with the age of the students and can be adapted to the curriculum or particular interest area of the class.

Community engagement

In addition to TurtleCare volunteers engaging with members of the public on the beaches an information display including marquee is available for suitable events and attended by volunteers keen to discuss turtles with the public.

TurtleCare hatchlings

Dedicated school holiday program for primary school aged children who want to learn more about turtles. 

For more information on any of these opportunities, email [email protected].

Resources for children

Resources for teachers

Suggested books and videos

Books and videos

Turtle related fiction and non-fiction for all ages. There is an excellent array of reading material and videos about turtles. Many of the children’s books have corresponding you-tube videos with the stories being read.

Books for young readers

  • Beside the Sea – by Kerri Day and Jess Racklyeft 2022, Windy Hollow books ISBN 9780645323580
  • Turtle Trackers – Samantha Wheeler 2018 , University of Queensland Press ISBN  9780702259951
  • Turtle's Song by Alan Brown & illustrated by Kim Michelle Toft. 2001,University of Queensland Press ISBN 1702231533
  • Journey of the Sea Turtle by Mark Wilson 2009, Lothian Books ISBN 073441109X
  • The Smallest Turtle by Lynley Dodd. 2008, ABC Books. ISBN 0733322085
  • Little Turtle and the Song of the Sea by Norma Burgin & illustrated by Sheridan Cain. 2001, Little Tiger Press. ISBN 1854306200
  • One Tiny Turtle by Jane Chapman & Nicola Davies. 2005, Candlewick Press ISBN 0763623113
  • Diego and the Baby Sea Turtles by Warner McGee & Lisa Rao. 2001, Crabtree Publishing Co ISBN 1416954503
  • Baby Turtles Tales by Elle J McGuiness. 2009, Andrews McMeal ISBN 0740781022
  • Into the Sea by Brenda Z. Guiberson & illustrated by Alix Berenzy 1996, Henry Holt ISBN 0805022635
  • Interrupted Journey: Saving Endangered Sea Turtles by Kathryn Lasky & Christopher G. Knight 2001, Candlewick Press ISBN 0763606359
  • Endangered Sea Turtles by Bobbie Kalman 204 by Crabtree Publishing Co ISBN 0778718999.

Books for general readers

  • Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behaviour and Conservation by James R Spotila 2004, The John Hopkins Press ISBN 0801880076
  • Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the World's Last Dinosaur by Carl Safina 2007, Owl Books, Henry Holt Co. ISBN 0805083189
  • Sea Turtles: An Extraordinary Natural History of Some Uncommon Turtles by Blair Ernest Witherington 2006, Voyager Press ISBN 100760326444
  • Sea Turtles: An Ecological Perspective by David Gulko & Karen Eckert 2004, Mutual Publishing Co ISBN 1566476518.
  • Turtle by Louise M. Pryke 2021, Reakton Books ISBN 9781789143362
  • Back from the Brink - Season 4 Episode 5 - Loggerhead Sea-turtle - YouTube.