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Turtle program calls for innovative solutions to protect hatchlings

Turtle program calls for innovative solutions to protect hatchlings
February 1, 2021

The Queensland Government has launched Round Six of its Nest to Ocean Turtle Protection Program and is asking for innovative solutions to help protect marine turtle nests and hatchlings.

Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the State Government is committed to improving the survival rates of threatened marine turtle hatchlings by protecting their nests and nesting habitats and advised “Today I am launching Round Six of the Nest to Ocean Turtle Protection Program, which provides $600,000 for active nest protection and predator control efforts.

“This funding is part of $1.27 million provided by the Queensland Government in 2020-21 to support the conservation of marine turtles.”

Not-for-profit organisations, indigenous corporations, tertiary education institutions and Natural Resource Management groups are encouraged to apply for funding.

Minister Scanlon added “since the program began in 2014, grant recipients have monitored more than 20,000 turtle nests and improved nest survival rates to 85% due to predator control activities and direct nest protection. 

“Importantly, it is estimated that 1.3 million hatchlings have made their way to the ocean since the program began.

“Funding of up to $150,000 is available for projects that maintain, adapt and strengthen existing direct management efforts at key nesting beaches and foraging grounds.

“Queensland’s unique environment is one of our major attractions, with the promise of seeing a turtle lay eggs or witness hatchling baby turtles make their first dash to the ocean drawing tourists from around the world.

“Which is why the protection of our flora and fauna is also so important to help maintain domestic tourism for the regions and to rebuild international tourism once it resumes.”

The Minister said Queensland is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, and all are considered threatened due to climate change, loss of habitat and predation.

“Feral pigs and foxes have learned to dig up clutches and feed on the eggs, so protecting nests and hatchlings is crucial for the sustainability of marine turtle populations.

“Funding is available for projects to be conducted at specific turtle rookeries on the east coast of Cape York, the Torres Strait, Great Barrier Reef coastal catchments and coastal islands.

“Our First Nations Peoples across Queensland and the Torres Strait have cultural, social and spiritual ties to marine turtles.

“The Queensland Government will be working with our First Nations Peoples to help manage land and sea country to protect and conserve our marine turtles.”

Project activities may include:

•Removal of weeds and invasive species whose roots negatively impact the incubation success of eggs.

•Shade management to reduce the impacts of increasing sand temperatures on egg success and hatchling gender ratio.

•Increased dune vegetation to provide a dark horizon to minimise light disruption on hatchlings and adult turtles.

•Restoration of sand dunes on nesting beaches.

•Removal of beach debris that impedes successful nesting, including “ghost” nets.

Applications close at 4pm Friday 26th February 2021.

Projects must be completed by June 2021. The total amount of funds available in this round is $600,000. Applicants may seek funding for grants up to $150,000.

Since 2014, more than $7 million in State and Commonwealth funding has been approved for projects under the Nest to Ocean Turtle Protection Program.

For more information please visit parks.des.qld.gov.au/management/programs/pest-plants-animals/nest-to-ocean-program

Image top: Courtesy of The Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management Ltd. (BMRG) is the peak body for natural resource management (NRM) within the Burnett Mary region which covers 53,000 kilometres2 and encompasses the southern extent of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Great Sandy straits World Heritage Area.

 

Related Articles

15th December 2020 - $300,000 investment announced for Mon Repos Turtle Nest Cooling Trial

15th November 2020 - Concerns raised over operation of Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

23rd May 2020 - Aussie Ark commits to turtle conservation on World Turtle Day

12th February 2020 - Aussie Ark commit to save critically endangered Manning River TurtlesĀ 

24th November 2019 - New $22 million Mon Repos Turtle Centre officially opens

30th September 2019 - New Mon Repos multimillion-dollar immersive turtle centre set to open

28th August 2019 - Sea World team releases pair of rehabilitated green turtles

11th August 2019 - Adelaide Zoo now home to two pig-nosed turtles

16th March 2019 - Flatback Sea Turtles at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium help raise awareness of endangered marine life

10th August 2017 - Infant Sea Turtles settle in at SEA LIFE Melbourne

23rd May 2017 - Kelly Tarlton’s and Auckland Zoo celebrate World Turtle Day

26th February 2017 - NSW shark nets kill endangered dolphins and turtles

23rd May 2016 - Marine attractions highlight conservation efforts on World Turtle Day

4th February 2016 - Protected marine waters keep turtles connected in their annual migration

29th October 2014 - Bundaberg region to promote turtle tourism


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