Lights out for turtles continues

WITH the turtle season in full swing, the Mon Repos Conservation Centre is looking for the help of beachside residents to keep the reptiles on track by reducing lighting.

During November, University of Queensland PhD student Rachel McDonald is running a survey to determine how residents feel about using low light during the summer months.

“There are two angles we are trying to find out. We want to know what are the barriers to people turning off their lights and from that we can work out how to reduce the glow and balance the needs of community,” Ms McDonald said.

Ms McDonald said the survey also asked how residents were already cutting the glow and what moves they had made to help the turtles nest.

Mon Repos Conservation Park ranger in charge Cathy Gatley said rangers had already seen the Cut the Glow campaign work.

“I certainly see throughout the area while we are on patrols (for turtles) that there are a lot of dark residences around the place,” she said.

Mrs Gatley said she hoped to see more residents take up the cause.

She said it was still too early in the season to determine how successful Cut the Glow had been this year.

The turtle rookery held its first beach tour on Saturday and Mrs Gatley said the group was treated to the arrival of a tagged loggerhead turtle.

“This turtle was a first-time nester (her very first breeding season) in the 2007-08 breeding season — she laid six clutches during the season — her first clutch of eggs at Oaks Beach, Burnett Heads and then the rest all laid at Mon Repos,” she said.

Mrs Gatley said the loggerhead arrived on the beach at about 9.30pm, nesting in a safe position on the dune meaning the nest did not have to be relocated.

To complete the Cut the Glow survey visit http://surveys.psy.uq.edu.au/CutTheGlow.survey or telephone the Mon Repos Conservation Centre on 4159 1652 to receive a hard copy.

The survey for the 2009-2010 season finishes on November 30.



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