Tours encourage conservation to protect our turtles
EVEN after nine years of volunteering, watching an endangered species return to nest or hatch as new life never gets old for volunteer tour guide Sonya Allcott.
With Mon Repo's turtle tour season beginning on Monday, Mrs Allcott knows she's part of something very special.
"I just think it's amazing, this research and conservation program has been going since 1968. It's world renowned and I feel really lucky to be able to be involved, getting hands-on research experience with an endangered species," she said.
"And it's an opportunity for someone who's passionate about the environment to talk to the public and get other people enthusiastic about doing their little part to help an endangered species and the environment in general.
"For me personally, knowing that I'm contributing to the conservation of the loggerhead turtle and getting other people excited about conservation is probably the biggest thing.
"Every time you see a nesting turtle you just know they've had a huge journey to get back here and they are always awe inspiring, every time you see them."
Mon Repos ranger-in-charge Cathy Gatley said bookings were looking strong for the season's start.
"We're got just over one hundred booked in for the first night and we've got bookings throughout the season already, local school groups and visitors to the area," she said.
"We've been making sure the beach is nice and clean and getting hatchery areas ready as well as fox control work in the lead-up to the season to reduce impact."
Mrs Gatley said it was also a timely reminder for coastal residents to reduce lighting to keep the beaches dark.
"It's not just right along the foreshore; all lights in coastal communities contribute to the glow and that's one of the biggest threats to turtles."
The turtle season runs from Monday until March 20, 2016.
To book a tour visit www.bundabergregion.org/ or phone 4153 8888.