New street lighting to help protect turtle hatchlings
IN A bid to help protect turtle hatchlings from getting disorientated by artificial lights, Livingstone Shire Council has installed coloured street lighting along the Zilzie Esplanade.
As part of a trial together with Ergon Energy and with assistance from Queensland Marine Parks and Wildlife Service and Fitzroy Basin Association volunteers, four street lights along the esplanade have been swapped to amber coloured lighting.
Artificial lighting can interfere with a turtle’s ability to see the natural horizon and hatchlings can become disorientated and veer from their path.
Portfolio holder for Water, Waste Management and the Environment, Councillor Andrea Friend, said some hatchlings that have made it out to sea can be lured back to land by strong coastal lights.
“Hatchlings have a low chance of survival with only about one in 1000 reaching maturity, so it’s vital council helps to maximise nesting success and hatchling survival,” Cr Friend said.
“Zilzie is a well-known nesting area for sea turtles and it’s important council acts to protect the species with this trial.
“Council has contacted nearby residents to explain the changes to the street lighting which will remain in place throughout the 2021 turtle hatchling season.”