Be mindful of sea turtles nesting and hatching this turtle season
Gladstone Regional Council is committed to protecting marine turtles and their habitats during turtle season from November to March.
Residents are urged to be mindful when visiting the region’s beaches as female turtles have started coming ashore to nest.
Turtles continue to face many natural and human-induced threats and are classified under federal legislation as either vulnerable to extinction or endangered.
Six of the world’s seven species visit the coastal waters of our region at various times of the year, but only four species are known to nest on our beaches.
Gladstone Region Deputy Mayor Kahn Goodluck said it is important to be respectful during turtle season and avoid having any negative effect on the nesting and hatching process in order to give hatchlings the best chance at survival.
“We expect that thousands of baby turtles will start emerging from their nests in the sand dunes and making their way to the sea from January 2022,” Councillor Goodluck said.
Cr Goodluck said there are several steps everyone can take to ensure they don’t have an impact on turtles, all while still enjoying the wonder of turtle season.
“Nesting turtles are best observed from a distance as they can be timid and easily disturbed,” he said.
“When driving on beaches where vehicles are permitted, only drive on the hard sand below the high-tide mark to avoid interfering with turtle nests.
“If you come across hatchlings making their way to the ocean, let them make their own way and be sure to reduce the use of artificial lights such as torches or flash photography so they don’t become disorientated.”
Please visit www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/wildlife#turtles for more information on what Council is doing to protect marine turtles and their habitat.
Dog owners are reminded that certain Agnes Water beaches are dog-free zones between November to March including Chinaman’s Beach, Springs Beach and Red Rock Beach. Visit www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/dogs-public-places for more information.
To report a sick, injured or dead turtle, phone the Queensland Government Wildlife Hotline on 1300 130 272.