Friday, March 25, 2011

TURTLE CARE, Sunshine Coast

Friday 25 March 2011, Kawana, Queensland  7:30pm

Tonight a dedicated little group hurriedly gathered to watch as one little head after the other emerged out of the loose sand like tiny submarines rising to the surface of the dry sand. Neither foxes or other hungry land hunters had been able to disturb the Loggerhead turtle nest once the Turtle Care volunteers had moved the eggs to a safer place and secured it with a safety mesh several weeks ago. Tonight the young turtles had burst from their eggs for their epic and potentially treacherous flight to the sea. These were the lucky ones.

Looking like little rowboats the hatchlings started flying down the run-way that had been built earlier -  guided on each side by gutter mesh.. 

Younger volunteers at this particular birthday party were tasked with counting how many of the baby reptiles passed the last line of dune grasses. They then helped the grownups make sure that a muted light was there to draw them down to the water's edge.

The challenge tonight was to keep the babies aimed toward the ocean instead of the fireworks that appeared to the east and the lights of the apartment buildings and other structures beyond the dunes. 

Clutches vary along the Sunshine Coast with generally four different turtles types in any year and not returning again for two or more years afterwards. Most of the babies this year will be male.

Here is another little turtle that got lucky earlier this summer when it wandered into a kitchen only to be saved by Alex and returned to where it belonged. Clearly an exception to the look, don't touch rule of thumb (or flipper as the case may be).

For more information on Turtle Care click here
For more information on Australian Turtles click here
For fun facts on an exclusively Aussie Sea Turtle click here

To learn more about how to keep our oceans clean for our wonderful turtles visit AUSMEPA and view general information and teacher notes on ocean health issues like  stormwater pollution, climate change, marine pests and threats by clicking here.

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