Coastcares Collaborate to Protect our Turtles

Coastcare Collaboration with Sherida Holford, Leigh Warneminde (President Coolum North Shore Coast Care), Colin Ingram (back), Susan Richards, Joan Burnett (Cooloola Coastcare's TurtleCare Project Leader), Dr. Lindy Orwin (Coordinator Cooloola Coastcare), Randy Orwin (President Cooloola Coastcare)

Coastcare Collaboration with Sherida Holford, Leigh Warneminde (President Coolum North Shore Coast Care), Colin Ingram (back), Susan Richards, Joan Burnett (Cooloola Coastcare’s TurtleCare Project Leader), Dr. Lindy Orwin (Coordinator Cooloola Coastcare), Randy Orwin (President Cooloola Coastcare)

Wednesday, January 8, marked the start of a wonderful relationship between Coolum and Northshore Coast Care and Cooloola Coastcare.

Leigh Warneminde, President of Coolum and Northshore Coast Care, travelled to Rainbow Beach with three other volunteers to provide assistance to the Cooloola CoastCare TurtleCare team.

Leigh and her team looked at a number of turtle nests and provided advice on how best to care for them until they hatch in 45 – 60 days. During this time Cooloola Coastcare volunteers were shown how to find egg chambers in the nests and how to apply predator mesh to protect the eggs from foxes and dogs.

The Coolum folks also showed TurtleCare volunteers how to dig an artificial egg chamber in case nests need to be moved to a safer location.

All of this training paid off quickly. Four days later a Loggerhead turtle came up on the swim beach and nested in a very precarious position, right in front of the beach access trail for the horses from Rainbow Beach Horse Rides and at the bottom of the temporary gutter just before the foredune.

Sitting at the bottom of the swell guaranteed the nest would go under water at the next high tide, suffocating the eggs. When Cooloola Coastcare’s turtle expert, Joan Burnett arrived, the decision was made to move the nest immediately. Joan, with the help of volunteer Randy Orwin, successfully relocated 131 eggs to a new location.

Nests will start hatching soon! Become a nest guardian and help as many hatchlings as possible make it to the water in the next two months. If interested contact Joan at 0407 810 510 or Randy at 0434 281 352.