SEASON OVER: Loggerhead turtles emerge at Mon Repos.
SEASON OVER: Loggerhead turtles emerge at Mon Repos. Contributed

Season among the best to nest for turtles

MORE than 400 loggerheads, seven flatbacks and four green turtles made Mon Repos Beach their safe haven to lay their eggs this turtle season.

Ranger in charge Cathy Gatley said the area was once again a hive of turtle activity from early November to March, with people coming from far and wide to see the turtles and the outstanding conservation efforts that went on at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre.

She said the last of the season's turtle tours finished up at the weekend.

"We finish our tours now because hatchlings become a bit more spread out,” she said.

"However we are still getting hatching clutches and there are number of nests left on the beach, so we expect hatchings to continue for the next month or so.

"Mon Repos Beach will remain closed from 6pm to 6am through to April.”

Ms Gatley said this year more green turtles had shown up at the nesting site than in previous years.

"It was a good nesting season because conditions were just right and there were plenty of food sources about.”

Visitor numbers also remained high, with about 29,400 visitors taking part in the nightly turtle encounter tours, slightly down on last year.

"I think the thing people enjoy most is being outside at night with the turtles, it adds a bit of an excitement to th e experience,” Ms Gatley said.

"We have lots of people that come back as adults after seeing the turtles as kids and then they bring their own children along.”

"Seeing the nesting turtles, it is something that really touches people and is quite majestic and peaceful while witnessing the hatchlings is fast-paced and exciting.”

Ms Gatley said, although turtle season had officially ended, there would still be turtles about and reminded residents to do everything possible to help remaining hatchlings on their way.

"With hatchlings still about, It is still very important to turn off lights during the night until the end of April to help cut artificial glow,” she said.