Keeping tabs on turtles

FOR years Mon Repos has been a place where the magic and tragedy of nature happens, and the NewsMail has been there to document the highs and lows of our prized turtles.

Among the most precious parts of our natural environment, the turtles have brought joy and wonder to families both local and visiting, and the region's tourism economy has come to ride on the back of the ancient mariners.

But it wasn't always smooth sailing for the turtles.

The NewsMail was there to cover the many deaths of the creatures caught up in commercial fishing bycatch, and the subsequent collaboration between the fishing industry and the State Government to develop turtle exclusion devices whose impacts are now being felt in rising numbers on our beaches.

We followed Col Limpus and his team of researchers as they carried out internationally ground-breaking research to track the turtles' movements and learn more about their ancient habits and life cycles.

We chronicled the ringing of the church bells to herald the arrival of the season's first turtle, and we joined countless night tours with visitors to share in the wonder of eggs being laid and the joys of new hatchlings making their first journey to the sea.

We shared the sorrows, too, particularly of the destruction of nests in the wake of the savage 2013 floods, which shocked and disrupted turtle activity for months.

And we worked with turtle rangers to spearhead the highly successful Cut the Glow campaign, which encouraged people living in coastal areas to change over to turtle-friendly lighting and help to stop the disorientation so many creatures experienced at night.

The NewsMail has been there to share and bring you all the breaking stories and issues relevant to our community.

Follow our We Were There series online at news-mail.com.au/video to watch video slideshows of the stories that have shaped us.



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