Simple tips keep turtle hatchlings safe in CQ
KEEP a keen eye on CQ beaches as mid January marks the start of the turtle hatching period.
The small turtles encounter a tough start to their lives courtesy of land-based and airborne threats. With the added threat of human interference, turtle hatchlings have only a one-in-a-thousand chance of surviving to adulthood.
The Fitzroy Basin Association's Team Turtle CQ group have protected more than 20 turtle nesting sites across the Capricornia Coast. They said all threats posed by humans were preventable.
"The two biggest threats are marine debris and tyre ruts caused by four-wheel-drives,” a spokesperson for FBA said.
"While tyre ruts or a plastic bottle might not look like much to us, they are insurmountable barriers for hatchlings on their way to the ocean. The energy that hatchlings exert on overcoming these barriers leaves them with less fuel in the tank to dodge predators and the heat of the day.”
For those planning leisure activities on the Capricornia Coast, the FBA has a few tips to keep turtle hatchlings safe.
Those planning on four-wheel-driving on the beach should exercise caution and stay on the hard sand, clear of sand dune habitats. FBA encouraged people to pick up rubbish, please do not distract, disturb or touch hatchlings.
Peak hour for hatchlings is dawn and dusk. To learn more about marine turtles and the work the Team Turtle CQ members do head to fba.org.au.