Since their ancient ancestors took their first evolutionary 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 over 100 million years, today all sea turtle species are experiencing a range of human-induced impacts that are threatening their continued survival.
The main species nesting on Sunshine Coast beaches are the loggerhead turtle and, less frequently, the green turtle.
Given that Australia's eastern population of nesting loggerheads comprises only around 500 nesting females, the Sunshine Coast population continues to be a small but important sub-population. TurtleCare Sunshine Coast is a voluntary organisation formed in 2005 in response to an identified need to protect the nests of marine turtles nesting on Sunshine Coast beaches.
TurtleCare volunteers are responsible for the implementation of an ongoing turtle monitoring program for nesting activity on beaches between Golden Beach and Point Cartwright. Volunteers identify and record species, nesting locations and frequency, protect nests from fox predation and monitor the hatching and emergence success of nests.
The Sunshine Coast turtle nesting technical report (PDF, 2.89MB) summarises the results of monitoring the eastern Australian loggerhead and green nesting populations during the 2005-2016 breeding seasons on Sunshine Coast regional beaches.