A loggerhead turtle nested on the Tweed Coast over the Australia Day weekend.
A loggerhead turtle nested on the Tweed Coast over the Australia Day weekend.

What to do if you find a baby turtle on the Tweed Coast

A FREE information session aims to ensure as many sea turtle hatchlings make it to the ocean as possible as they begin to emerge from their nests across the Tweed.

Staff from the NSW TurtleWatch Program are returning to update the community about the current sea turtle nesting season after a great community response to the December information session.

Hatchlings begin to emerge on local beaches anytime in January and continue through until May.

 

The turtle's nest was below the high-tide line, so the nest was relocated higher on the beach before it was inundated by the water.
The turtle's nest was below the high-tide line, so the nest was relocated higher on the beach before it was inundated by the water.

 

NSW TurtleWatch project officer Holly West said the baby turtles can be affected by light pollution, marine debris, predators and coastal erosion.

"Locals can help by keeping our beaches clear of marine debris that can easily entangle hatchlings or that they may later eat when they enter the ocean," she said.

"It is estimated that only 1 out of 1,000 hatchlings survive to reach maturity so every hatchling we can assist into the ocean can help to make a difference," she said.

Historically, the Tweed has had the highest number and density of sea turtle nests for the NSW coastline.

There have previously been successful nests found on Dreamtime, Kingscliff, Casuarina and Pottsville beaches and this year a loggerhead turtle nested on the Tweed Coast across the Australia Day weekend.

 

A loggerhead turtle nested on the Tweed Coast over the Australia Day weekend.
A loggerhead turtle nested on the Tweed Coast over the Australia Day weekend.

 

"It was below the high-tide line so thanks to quick actions from Australian Seabird Rescue staff and locals the nest could be relocated higher on the beach before being inundated by the water," Ms West said,

"All actions were taken under the guidance and permission of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service staff.

"Sea turtles have been around for over 100 million years and all species of sea turtle are considered threatened.

 

Heading back to the ocean, two Green Turtles are released by Sea World at Fingal beach. Photo: Scott Powick (August 2019)
Heading back to the ocean, two Green Turtles are released by Sea World at Fingal beach. Photo: Scott Powick (August 2019)

 

"One of the big questions is, what happens to the nests after they have been laid and what can the public do to help?"

The community is invited to come along to an information session to find out what they can do.

Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Olly Pitt will be there on the day to share some of the centre's successful sea turtle rehabilitation stories.

When: February 15, 10am - 12pm (NSW time)

Where: Kingscliff Community Hall, 81 Marine Pde, Kingscliff.

To find out more about the program visit environment.nsw.gov.au/sos.

For more information about the NSW TurtleWatch program, email turtlewatchnsw@gmail.com, visit seabirdrescue.org.au or facebook.com/NSWTurtleWatch/.

If you see a hatchling please call Australian Seabird Rescue immediately on (02) 6686 2852.