Turtle tracks found along Coast
AN early-morning beach walk along the Capricorn Coast led Sid Dooley to discover deep turtle tracks.
While Sid has noticed turtle tracks many times before on his daily walks off Emu Park, he admits he has never seen anything like these ones.
“They were four inches deep in hard, wet sand,” Sid said.
“She would have to be nearly half a ton.”
Sid said even his own tracks were hardly visible in the sand, so he was simply amazed at their depth and size.
“It is beyond normal people’s comprehension,” he said.
When he noticed the tracks he went back to get his wife Gay and a camera to take some pictures.
Sid believes it is a loggerhead turtle, a type which has been returning to Queensland beaches in record numbers.
However, after examining the photos, government marine scientist Dr Col
Limpus confirmed they were green turtle tracks.
Sid’s turtle discovery was back in November, so he has been keeping a sharp eye out to see if the visit will result in the hatching of baby turtles, which would be due about now.
Sid and his neighbours have been keeping an eye on the nest to protect it from predators
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority urges everyone to take care at nesting beaches.
The authority’s Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Use manager, Dr Mark Read, said everyone could make a difference and help hatchlings have a greater chance of survival by following a few simple guidelines.
“A hatchling’s run to the sea is a hazardous time where they must avoid predators and humans and our pets can be as big a threat as any predator,” Dr Read said.
If hatchlings are spotted he suggests you let them make their run to the water undisturbed.”Turtle watch safety tips
Limit the use of light and never shine lights directly onto hatchlings as they may become confused by artificial light and not make it to the ocean
Use low-wattage torches (less than three volts, two cell) with red cellophane or a filter over the bulb
Do not shine torches out to sea when hatchlings are in the water – this may cause the hatchlings to return to shore
Limit the use of flash-photography
Allow hatchlings to dig themselves out of the nest and run to the sea without disturbance or assistance
Do not touch or handle hatchlings
Never interfere with natural events
Make sure dogs are on a leash and do not harass hatchlings trying to cross the beach