Did you know that there are plenty of turtles around the Sunshine Coast? If you’re looking for Green turtles, Loggerheads or Hawksbill turtles there are a few ways to experience a turtle moment. Here are 8 cool things you should know about sea turtles.
1-You don’t have to be in the water to see turtles
Look out for tracks left by nesting sea turtles on ocean beaches between Caloundra and Sunshine Beach during the summer months.
2-The ex-HMAS Brisbane is a magnet for turtles
Snorkellers can experience turtle encounters off the beach at The Spit and around Mudjimba Island.
The ex-HMAS Brisbane, 8km from Alexandra Headland, is a magnet for sea life and has been a hideaway for turtles since it was scuttled on the 31st July, 2005.
3-There around 500 female turtles on the Sunshine Coast
Sea turtles are both vulnerable and endangered and they need our help.
The TurtleCare Volunteer program is a monitoring program for nesting activity from Golden Beach to Point Cartwright and Sunshine Beach north to Teewah Beach.
TurtleCare and Coolum District CoastCare are local groups tasked with the responsibility of protecting nests and turtle nesting habitat on Sunshine Coast beaches.
With a nesting population of Loggerhead turtles on the east coast of Australia estimated at only 500 females, the Sunshine Coast represents a small but very important part of the population in Queensland.
4-Mature Hawksbill turtles consume over 500 kilograms of sponge each year
Each species has a role in maintaining a healthy ocean.
A mature Hawksbill turtle is believed to consume over 500 kilograms of sponge each year to create space for other life forms to establish and increase the variety of food and relationships that increase resilience and survival of reefs.
What Hawksbills do for hard reefs are similar to the effect adult Green turtles have on seagrass meadows.
5-Sea turtles are predators
Sea jellies such as blue blubbers, lions mane, blue bottles and giant moon jellies that respond to algae blooms after major weather events are kept under control by sea turtles.
Without predators like sea turtles, sea jellies can strip marine ecosystems of plankton that sustain commercial and recreational fisheries.
6-Plastic is often mistaken as food by turtles.
As it accumulates in their digestive system, they lose weight. The result is a floating syndrome that puts them at risk of strikes by boats and jet skis. Keeping plastics and balloons out of marine ecosystems is an excellent lifestyle choice that can help turtles to survive another 100 million years in our oceans.
Get friends and family involved with TurtleCare volunteers at clean-up for turtle hatchlings events. Turtles that are found floating and unable to dive can be saved.
If you see a turtle in trouble contact: 1300ANIMAL . The hotline connects response networks and rehabilitation services like those provided by Australia Zoo and Sea Life at Mooloolaba.
7-Turtles are vulnerable
Threats to sea turtles are not limited to plastics. There are foxes, fishing lines, fuel spills and ghost nets. Bunting that is placed over nests on the Sunshine Coast prevent foxes and other predators from digging up the nests during the incubation period.
8-Mon Repos is a top spot to see turtle hatchlings
To watch turtles nesting and the possibility of seeing hatchlings make a dash for the open ocean, plan a holiday to Mon Repos, 300 km north of Mooloolaba near Bundaberg.
Park rangers can have you on the beach from 7pm from November to late March. The best time for hatchlings is January to March.
Tony Isaacson lives on the Sunshine Coast
Turtles that are found floating and unable to dive can be saved. If you see a turtle in trouble contact: 1300ANIMAL . The hotline connects response networks and rehabilitation services like those provided by Australia Zoo and Sea Life at Mooloolaba. Join volunteers at TurtleCare for turtle hatchlings event at the end of each summers.