It’s been an egg-cellent start to the Sunshine Coast turtle nesting season, with six nests laid in seven days.
At sunrise on Friday, November 25, expert citizen scientist and Turtle Care volunteer Lesley Dimmock spotted the first turtle tracks on Buddina beach.
This was followed by two more nests recorded on the weekend, another two on Tuesday and one on Wednesday.
Once the volunteers find the egg chamber, the next step is to install special mesh over the nest to prevent predators getting access.
Sunshine Coast Council’s TurtleCare Conservation Officer Kate Hofmeister says the volunteers were very excited the season had officially begun.
“More than 250 Turtle volunteers across the Sunshine Coast are expecting to see turtle tracks during their early morning local beach patrols any day now,” Ms Hofmeister says.
“However, even though we’ve had a big start to the season, we are expecting less nests this year due to the extended La Nina weather pattern we’ve been experiencing since 2020.
“There have also been a few unsuccessful nesting attempts recently which could be related to the poor condition of the dunes, again due to this year’s weather.
The first nest has also been found on the northern end of the coast.
The tracks of an endangered loggerhead turtle was found at Yaroomba beach on Wednesday morning.
A volunteer from Coolum and North Shore Coastcare made the discovery.
Mrs Hofmeister highlighted the importance of residents turning off any unnecessary external lighting at night.
“Adult and hatchling turtles are highly sensitive to artificial light. A dark beach is the best way to attract nesting turtles to local beaches and allow the hatchlings to make their own way to the ocean.
“We have seen, on a number of occasions, the negative and disorienting impacts lights can have on turtle nesting, so it is important we all work together to protect these majestic creatures.
“This year’s hatchlings have a one in 1000 chance of surviving to adulthood, and if they do, they will return to start nesting on Sunshine Coast beaches in the year 2052.”
To report turtle tracks, new nests and emerging hatchlings on the southern end of the coast, call Sunshine Coast Council’s Turtle Care hotline 0437 559 067 or for sightings from Mooloolaba north, call Coolum and North Shore Coast Care on 0403 370 157.