A nesting turtle Photo: NSW Turtlewatch
A nesting turtle Photo: NSW Turtlewatch

What you need to know about turtle nesting season in Tweed

THE TurtleWatch program is hoping to enlist the help of beach goers to keep an eye out for signs of turtle nests during the breeding season from November to May.

Both the green turtles and loggerhead turtles that nest from the Tweed to Sydney's northern beaches are classified endangered or threatened.

NSW TurtleWatch project officer Holly West said the turtles come to shore at night to lay their eggs and it was rare to see them.

She aims to spread greater awareness of the signs of turtle nesting so they can be closely monitored.

"We had seven nests compared to two last year and over 200 hatchlings," she said.

"We probably missed a few.

"A lot of people don't know we have nesting turtles."

Ms West said there was one nest at the Tweed and one false crawl where a turtle walks out of the water but doesn't lay any eggs.

Ms West said after researching the data over the past 20 years numbers of turtle nests seem to be increasing but it may just be that more people are out and recognising the signs such as the tell tale tracks left behind.


A hatching turtle. Photo: NSW Turtlewatch
A hatching turtle. Photo: NSW Turtlewatch

The southern breeding turtles may become more vital to the continuation of the species because the factor that determines their sex is the temperature of the sand.

Because of the warming of the planet it is increasingly more likely the turtles born on Australia's northern beaches will be female.

Ms West said because of the sand temperature locally it was probable all turtles born last season in New South Wales were male.

Ms West hopes to get more people walking the beaches and looking out for nesting activities.

The TurtleWatch program has been developed by Australian Seabird Rescue, and is supported by the State Government's Saving our Species Program.

To report a sighting contact Australian Seabird Rescue on 0428 862 852.

For more information visit http://seabirdrescue.org.au

Articles contributed by Margie Maccoll are supported by the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas.