Mon Repos Beach Nightly Turtle Encounter Tours Busy Until 20 March 2016

Mon Repos Beach Nightly Turtle Encounter Tours Busy Until 20 March 2016

Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Leanne Donaldson

First Turtles Of The Season Hatch At Mon Repos Beach

Victor P Taffa

Mon Repos beach near Bundaberg has seen its first sea turtle hatchlings scrambling for the ocean to begin their mammoth trans-Pacific journey.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson, said the number of nesting turtles this season was similar to last year.

“The Department of National Parks expects it will be a busy season.” Minister Donaldson said.

“So far this year 339 turtles have come ashore to nest and more than 500 clutches of eggs have been laid so the hatchling season will be filled with lots of thrilling moments both for tourists and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service team.”

“Mon Repos Regional Park’s nightly Turtle Encounter tours will continue through to late March and so there will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to see the magical race to the sea for themselves.”

Minister Donaldson said rangers would continue to educate visitors and locals on ways they can protect endangered loggerhead turtles through initiatives like Cut the glow to help turtles go.

“It is vital to conserve the nesting habitat of these tiny creatures to ensure they hatch and make their way safely to the ocean.” Minister Donaldson said.

“Mon Repos is focussed on giving them a protected start to a life that can span up to 100 years and with probably less than one in 1,000 making it through to maturity there is a huge responsibility on the rangers.”

Hatchlings use the trip from their nest across the sand to imprint the orientation of the Earth’s magnetic field so they can return to the same area to breed in 30 years’ time.

This season has seen the return of the world’s oldest known tagged turtle for her 13th nesting season 41 years after her first recorded nesting season at Mon Repos.

Booking is essential for the Turtle Encounter tours which will continue to March 20.