This is the sight that stopped Sid Dooley is his tracks.
This is the sight that stopped Sid Dooley is his tracks. Sid Dooley

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

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