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Protecting the Turtles of Sandy Cape

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Sandy Cape Lighthouse Volunteer Group is pleased to announce that their “Nest to Ocean” (N2O) project (Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science DES) is well underway.

Lower Mary River Land and Catchment Care Group was successful in acquiring N2O funding through Burnett Mary Regional Group to purchase fuel for use by volunteers. The 200L drums of fuel are transported to Sandy Cape by QPWS Rangers.  Each day, volunteers drive the 90km of beach in their own vehicles searching for endangered loggerhead turtle nests to be relocated to predator-proof hatching pens.

The Connell team take time out to explain the procedure of nest relocation to Wayne and his family

Because of this year’s low numbers of green turtle nests, of which dingoes have the choice to supplement their diet, it has become a race between man and beast to determine the fate of the loggerhead nests- relocated or predated. But the volunteers are winning, with 47 nests relocated to date.

As usual, Aub came armed with Satellite trackers for his volunteer tour of Sandy Cape. Six trackers were deployed at Sandy Cape. One of the trackers was used on a Hervey Bay turtle as training for Linda and her team on the procedure of glueing trackers on turtles.

While relocating nests and releasing a turtle with a Satellite tracker, all volunteer teams have chatted with any visitors that may be present about turtle lifecycle, dingo safety especially with regard to children and regulations of beach driving.

The Bradley team have conducted several “turtle talks” in the Hervey Bay and Maryborough libraries, at schools, Poona Progress Association and delivered a Channel 7 news segment.  On occasion, wallowing in the muddy creek has been the venue for training by the Bradleys of prospective volunteers in the monitoring of turtles and collecting data.

Article submitted by Don and Lesley Bradley, Sandy Cape Lighthouse Conservation Association

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