Turtle Hatchling Success at Straddie

Stradbroke Island, with its protected beaches and dunes, has always been a favoured nesting location for Loggerhead, Flatback and Green turtles. Each year, female turtles come ashore from November to March, crawling to above the high water mark to lay approximately 100 eggs. Some 6-8 weeks later, the tiny hatchlings emerge from their sandy nests to follow the light and head towards the ocean. The sex of a turtle is determined by the temperature of their nests, with warm sand generally producing females, and cool sand leading to male development.

This season was no exception. In just a short few days in March it was reported that 113 Loggerhead babies reached the water from their nest on Frenchmans Beach, another 96 Green turtle babies made it to the water from their nest on Main Beach, and over 60 Green turtle babies swam away on Cylinder Beach.

Successful breeding at Stradbroke Island for these turtles is critical for the survival of these protected and endangered species. We can all help protect sea turtles by collecting floating plastics and by not interfering with turtle nesting sites. Also, on North Stradbroke, foxes are a serious threat to eggs and hatchlings. Please report all fox sightings anywhere on the island by calling 0404 150 809.

Article by F. McLeod

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