From tomorrow night, people from across the region will be able to witness loggerhead and flatback turtles lay their eggs at Mon Repos Turtle Rookery.
From tomorrow night, people from across the region will be able to witness loggerhead and flatback turtles lay their eggs at Mon Repos Turtle Rookery. Ron Burgin

Turtles arrive for nesting season

WARMER weather is starting to see the arrival of more and more turtles for their annual nesting ritual.

From tomorrow night, people from across the region will be able to witness loggerhead and flatback turtles lay their eggs at Mon Repos Turtle Rookery.

Mon Repos Conservation Park ranger in charge of interpretation Cathy Gatley said visitors in the first few nights could expect a treat.

“The flatback which came to shore as our first of the season is due back to lay another clutch in the next few days, so hopefully one of the first few groups have been able to see her,” she said.

The rangers have already seen two loggerhead turtles and one flatback turtle come to shore at beaches across the region.

“On Wednesday night, we had a loggerhead come to shore and lay 160 eggs, which we had to relocate because they were below the erosion bank,” she said.

Ms Gatley said the 104cm turtle was last seen at Mon Repos in 2007 and this year marked her 11th breeding season.

While the early visits of turtles shows a promising season, the rangers are not expecting to reach the records that were set last year.

“It's too early to tell what the season will be like but we are hoping for a healthy number of turtles,” the ranger said.

Ms Gatley said beachgoers could help rangers out in recording where the turtles were nesting.

“Mon Repos Beach is closed from 6am to 6pm for turtle conservation but if people are on other beaches and see tracks or run into a turtle, it is best if they call Mon Repos,” she said.

As well as recording the number of turtles, the rangers also plan to affix satellite and GPS trackers to some turtles.

“We will be satellite tracking two loggerheads this year, which helps us track their migratory corridor to help with planning go slow areas for recreational boaties,” she said.

“With the GPS trackers, we will put them on the turtle once she has laid her first clutch and will be looking at what they are doing while they are nesting.”

To book a turtle tour, call 4153 8888.



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