Turtle Mania

Turtle tracks spotted just south of Mudlow Rocks, Rainbow Beach

Turtle tracks spotted just south of Mudlow Rocks, Rainbow Beach

Have you heard? The turtles are out in force at Rainbow Beach. Starting last November, 18 turtles have already come ashore to lay their eggs, 18 more than were logged last year. Given the number of recent sightings, people are asking why there are so many more turtles this year.

Cooloola Coastcare believe the numbers are likely due to a much greater awareness of the TurtleCare Project.

The inaugural years were 2018-2019 for this new program started by Coastcare member Joan Burnett when she joined the organisation a little over a year ago.

Funding to get the program started came from an Australian Citizen Science Association grant awarded to Lindy Orwin who donated the funds to Coastcare.

Over the last year, Joan has been recruiting and training volunteers to help with the TurtleCare program. With increased numbers of volunteers there are more people on the beach early in the morning looking for turtle tracks. The more eyes on the beach the greater the chance of spotting tracks.

Rainbow Beach is vitally important because sand temperature determines the gender of the hatchlings. Only beaches south of Bundeberg are cool enough to result in male turtles, balancing all of the female hatchlings in the north.

Help Coastcare save the turtles by walking the beaches early in the morning looking for tracks. If you find fresh tracks, take a photo with your smartphone, making sure the location setting is turned on (GPS coordinates) and send it to Joan, 0407 810 510 or Randy at 0434 281 352.