Lights confuse hatchlings

COASTAL residents still need to cut the glow with turtle hatchlings now making a nightly appearance at Mon Repos Conservation Park.

“A couple of nights ago we did have a full clutch, which was disorientated by the artificial light, head away from the water,” Mon Repos Conservation Park ranger-in-charge Cathy Gately said.

Mrs Gately said the first group of hatchlings appeared in late December and the tiny animals had been making their way to the ocean daily since the beginning of January.

“We get about an 86% success rate with each clutch of our hatchlings,” she said.

The hatchlings dig their way through the sand to emerge and scurry towards the water.

Mrs Gately said the appearance of hatchlings did not mean the nesting season was over.

“We’ve had a number of turtles each night and recently we have been getting about 10 per night,” she said.

The turtles laying are producing their last clutch of eggs and rangers expect the adult turtles to visit the beach until mid-February.

There are a few simple steps coastal residents can take to help reduce the artificial glow.

Tips include minimising or shading external light, using curtains or blinds, covering lights when camping and switching to “turtle friendly” lights for outdoors.

For more information visit www.derm.qld.gov.au.



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