The life of a turtle hatchling is really about survival of the fittest and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBMRPA) is urging all local residents and holiday makers up and down the coast to be on the look-out and take care – especially around nesting beaches.
As there is no parental care by female turtles, from the time a hatchling pokes its nose out of its sandy nest the odds are against it.
GBRMPA’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 being aware and 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,” he said.
“Just simply keep a look-out at nesting beaches and if hatchlings are spotted let them make their run to the water undisturbed. Make sure your dogs are on a leash and do not harass hatchlings trying to cross the beach.
“At this time of year many people are still enjoying school holidays and spending time near the water, the use of lights at and near nesting beaches can be particularly hazardous.
“Turtle hatchlings are attracted to artificial light and instead of heading to the ocean where they need to be, hatchlings can end up in campsites or even try to cross roads to get to the light source.
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