Three adult turtles found dead
A MIX of flooding, cyclones and boaties may be responsible for the deaths of three adult turtles found washed up on a Capricorn Coast beach Friday.
A fourth turtle was found and rescued by Yeppoon resident Carl Harden and The Bully, after we called Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and helped lift her off Farnborough Beach. The green female turtle, aged about 30, opened her eyes and lifted her head while being photographed.
She looked in poor health and had trauma to her shell. Senior ranger for Rosslyn Bay Marine Parks Oliver Lanyon said it looked as if she had been floating for some time before being washed ashore. Mr Lanyon took her off the beach to be rehabilitated, and collected the other turtles.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) was contacted about the strandings. Environment Minster Vicky Darling issued a statement urging boaties to take extra care as two turtles – including a metre-long green turtle, had evidence of propeller strikes.
She said experts said seagrass levels were falling due to low salinity and murky coastal waters caused by the summer floods and cyclones, and turtles in poor health spent more time at the surface, increasing the likelihood of boat strikes.
She said the strandings were a “terrible toll on Farnborough Beach”.
Anyone who finds a marine animal in difficulty is urged to report it immediately to DERM on 1300 130 372.
The Bully will keep track of the female turtle’s rehabilitation.