Saturday, January 13, 2007

Turtle watching, Queensland

Watching a giant, ancient sea turtle emerge from the ocean and slowly make its way up the beach to nest is an amazing experience. November through to January is nesting time for the endangered loggerhead turtle. Turtle hatchlings appear from January through March. I have seen turtles nest on Heron Island, Curtis Island and Mon Repos Beach, Bundaberg. I have watched the hatchlings scurry down to the waters edge. Some of them make it across the sand, through the surf and out to sea to return years later. Others don't survive the first half hour. Disorientation, birds, sharks and all kinds of fish are waiting to claim them.

Mon Repos Beach is the most accessible location for turtle watching. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service provide ticketed beach access to allow turtle watchers to view nesting and hatching under the guidance of trained wildlife staff. For more information visit Queensland Environmental Protection Agency.

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