27 May, 2021
Nest to Ocean Whitsunday Turtle Nesting Protection
THE Palaszczuk Government has announced $83,820 for Whitsunday Regional Council to help protect turtles and their clutches and hatchlings from predators.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said five community groups are sharing $711, 253 in funding under round five of the Palaszczuk Government’s Nest to Ocean program.
“It’s part of the Palaszczuk Government’s almost $1 billion investment this year to protect the environment and create jobs as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” Mrs Gilbert said.
“They will develop environmental management programs to control predators such as pigs and foxes to ensure more marine turtle hatchlings make it to the ocean.
“The Whitsunday Regional Council will use the funding for their Whitsunday Nesting Protection and Awareness Activation.
“The program will help reduce the impact of predators, build community awareness at nesting beaches and install nest protection mesh, which prevents feral pigs and foxes from digging up the clutches after they have been hatched.
“Predation of egg clutches and hatchlings by feral pigs and foxes is a key concern for the sustainability of our turtle populations.
“For the past seven years, the Nest to Ocean program has helped reduce that threat through nest protection and feral animal control programs.
“I’d like to congratulate the Whitsunday Regional Council for their ongoing efforts in protecting and conserving turtles and their clutches.”
Whitsunday Regional Council Director of Community Services Julie Wright applauded the roll out of the Nest to Ocean Turtle Protection Program.
“This funding allows us to instigate key activities aimed at protecting turtles during the vulnerable nesting period,” Ms Wright said.
“An aerial shooting program alone will eradicate over 1200 feral pigs from the project zone and have an immediate impact on the safety of nesting turtles.
“The funding also gives us scope to install key signage to build awareness
at popular nesting beaches and also provide nest exclusion mesh to
volunteer groups to assist in nest protection.”
Mrs Gilbert said projects under round five of the Nest to Ocean program will protect turtle clutches and hatchlings at turtle rookeries from the Whitsundays to Bowen, Bargara to Shoalwater Bay and Aurukun to the Jardine River in western Cape York.
“The projects also involve removing marine debris, restoring beach nesting habitat and an educational program for students in Aurukun,” she said.
“Queensland is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle.
“I’m pleased to say the Nest to Ocean program has monitored or protected more than 20,000 turtle nests since it began.
“It is estimated that more than 95% of nests have survived due to predator control activities, and about 1.3 million hatchlings have been protected since the inception of the program.”
For more information about the $5.8 million nest to ocean program, please visit: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/management/programs/pest-plants-animals/nest-to-ocean-program