LIGHTS OUT: Volunteers Fiona Hoffman and Gary Brandon with QPWS’s Peter Wright and Neil Cambourn plant the dunes to cut the glow for nesting turtles at Mon Repos.
LIGHTS OUT: Volunteers Fiona Hoffman and Gary Brandon with QPWS’s Peter Wright and Neil Cambourn plant the dunes to cut the glow for nesting turtles at Mon Repos. Contributed

125 trees will help protect our turtles

MORE than 125 trees have been planted by locals at Mon Repos National Park to protect endangered turtles.

The trees will screen the nesting and hatching beach at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre from artificial light along the shoreline, which leaves them confused and disorientated.

The centre is home to the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles, namely the endangered loggerhead, on the east Australian coast.

The trees are part of a government funding package of improvement works at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, which will include a roof over the existing amphitheatre and a package of new visitor attractions.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson thanked the community for its hard work.

"In the latest effort, over two days in mid-June, community members helped plant casuarinas, coastal hibiscus, tuckeroos and other trees and shrubs, to protect the nesting beach," Ms Donaldson said.

"More work will be done on landscaping around the information centre and staff base over the next few months."

The new $360,000 amphitheatre roof means there will now be a covered area where people can experience presentations in all weather conditions.

"A range of other projects are under way to refresh the turtle centre, including a new entrance feature, site signage, and ranger-led visitor attractions and a new base for staff and volunteers," Ms Donaldson said.

"I know local residents will be keen to see the improvements - they are very proud of the Mon Repos turtle conservation program that's been going nearly 50 years."

The improvements are expected to be finished by September this year.

As well as being supported by local residents, the upgrade work is supported by the Bundaberg Regional Council, tourism operators, and the Bundaberg North Burnett Regional Tourism Organisation.

"The visitor centre and amphitheatre, built in 1993-94, receive more than 50,000 visitors each year who come to see the endangered loggerhead, vulnerable flatback and green turtles. That includes up to 27,000 visitors to the centre for night tours during the turtle nesting season each summer," Ms Donaldson said.



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