Wreck Rock Turtle Monitoring Program
Dec 10, 2013
Wreck Rock beach is an area of pristine coastline within the Deep Water National Park just south of Agnes Water. It beach is considered to be the second largest mainland nesting site for Loggerhead turtles (to Mon Repos) and is within the boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are considered one of the most endangered species of turtles in the world and Australia’s eastern beaches support the only significant stock in the South Pacific Ocean. Yet, they continue to face many threats at all stages of their life cycle both here in Australia and beyond.
Emerging coastal light pollution from our Queensland shores is affecting the return of sexually mature adults, and in combination with nest predation, is reducing hatchlings survival in significant numbers. Over the past few years, it has been estimated that as much as 80-90% of loggerhead clutches are suffering from predation by native and feral predators.
There is a real and major threat to loggerhead hatchling survival not only at Wreck Rock beach, but on all of Queensland’s mainland beaches.
WWF-Australia and the Burnett Mary Regional Group are working together to support Nev and Bev McLachlan of Wreck Rock Turtle Research Team to safeguard endangered loggerhead turtles nests and hatchlings from predators at Wreck Rock Beach, just south of Agnes Water. WWF and its partners will be trialling the effectiveness of a predator exclusion device during the 2013-2014 nesting and peak hatchling season.
Turtle nesting monitoring has been occurring since 1974 thanks to Nev and Bev McLachlan and volunteers from the Wreck Rock Turtle Research Team. Their dedication to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s Queensland Turtle Conservation Project has provided valuable information about the status of nesting populations, the changes that have occurred, and if the existing policy and management tools in place are sufficient.
This long term monitoring has shown loggerhead hatchling survival is under threat from predators and there is a need for on-ground intervention.
For more information, contact Kirsten Wortel on 07 4181 2999 (ext 180) or by email