Aerial survey provides key info for turtle conservation
Turtle conservationists have unearthed key information about local nesting hot spots which will help in prioritising and protecting these environments into the future.
Reef Catchments staff have conducted survey flights over islands and beaches in the Whitsundays.
They also went as far south as Stanage Bay, which 75km north-east of Rockhampton, and as far east as Bushy Island, 70km east of Mackay.
The surveys identified both the number and species of nesting turtle tracks that had been made the previous night as green turtles and flatback turtles moved through.
The team also recorded the number of old nesting turtle tracks.
The survey data helped identify nesting hot spots in the region - information Reef Catchments project officer Jessica Sabatino said would be valuable for future turtle conservation efforts.
"The information collected during the survey will be used to prioritise beaches for habitat enhancement and protection," she said.
"This is important for marine turtles who have numerous threats, including light pollution, coastal development and climate change.
"Some of the work that will follow this survey includes a reduction in the amount of light pollution on nesting beaches."
Ms Sabatino thanked the people and organisations that made the survey possible.
The project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Reef Trust, and delivered through the National Landcare Program Regional Land Partnerships agreement.
The survey was made possible through partnerships with the Queensland Turtle Conservation Project, Mackay and District Turtle Watch Association, and Fitzroy Basin Association.