Baby turtles emerge from their nest near Point Cartwright on the Sunshine Coast.
Baby turtles emerge from their nest near Point Cartwright on the Sunshine Coast.

80 rescued eggs ready to hatch in rare Rainbow sighting

ALL eyes were on Rainbow Beach on the weekend as up to 80 turtles were expected to hatch in a rare sight for the region.

The eggs were moved 100m north of the patrolled beach after a big swell left them exposed in January, not long after being laid.

The buried eggs have been developing protected by a makeshift barricade with the hope they had not been affected by changes in sand temperature, predation or interference.

Last night's full moon and high tide was pinpointed as the probable time the turtles "would make a break for it", Rainbow Beach lifeguard Liam Toohey said, who regularly sees large loggerhead turtles mating in Rainbow Beach waters.

The Department of Wildlife identifies Rainbow Beach as a minor turtle nesting site, with only one or two female loggerhead turtles recorded to nest in the area per year, compared to more than 400 nesting in the Bundaberg area per year.

 

Rainbow Beach Lifeguard Liam Toohey.
Rainbow Beach Lifeguard Liam Toohey. Patrick Woods

The spokeswoman urged people not to disturb the hatchlings with light or noise during their important journey from sand to sea, including with the back light of a mobile phone.

It is believed about 1 in 1000 turtles live long enough to reach maturity, she said.

The public can assist in the success of turtle nesting by following a few simple guidelines:

 Do not disturb nesting turtles - light, noise and movement can cause turtles to turn back without nesting. Keep at least 50m away from the turtle.

 Don't light fires on the beaches - the light can disorientate turtles and destroy eggs in the nest.

 Keep vehicles off sand dunes and beaches - vehicles compact the sand and crush the eggs.

 Control your dogs and prevent them from digging up turtle nests.

Gympie Times


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