Rangers get set for turtle season
STAFF at the Mon Repos Conservation Park are expecting the first turtle of the season to arrive on the beach any day now.
Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said the first turtle for each season was usually a flatback.
“This species and others including the endangered loggerhead turtle will be nesting regularly throughout the season, laying up to four nests each,” she said.
Ms Jones said a total of 400 turtles nested at Mon Repos last season.
“While there are natural fluctuations in annual turtle numbers – as they nest approximately every four years – we are hoping this season will also show good nesting numbers,” she said.
Ms Jones said that as well as normal data collection, ranger staff and researchers would be observing the effects of artificial light on the coastline this season.
“We are hoping to see a reduction in the coastal glow thanks to the Cut the Glow to help Turtles Go community awareness campaign,” she said.
“Bright artificial lights disturb and disorient both the nesting and hatching turtles, so cutting the glow will ensure turtles breed along our coast for many more generations to come.”
Ms Jones said ranger guided tours would start next month, providing a great way to observe the turtles in their natural environment with the least disturbance.
“Bookings are essential for visitors wishing to view the turtles at Mon Repos,” she said. “Turtles are wild animals and will nest when they choose, so there is no guarantee of tour times.
“However, while visitors wait, they can enjoy the audiovisual ranger presentations, learn in the Information Centre, join in with kids’ activities, or browse the gift shop, chatting with the dedicated team of Mon Repos volunteers.”
Ranger guided tours operate seven nights a week from 7pm until late from November 6 to late March 2011, excluding December 24, 25 and 31.