Human turtle leads Bribie campaign

Published 2:00pm 20 December 2022

Human turtle leads Bribie campaign
Words by Nick Crockford

Photos by Damian Caniglia, Stephen Finkel, and Darren Jew

A giant human turtle has been created to raise awareness of the summer nesting season at Woorim on Bribie Island.

Two hundred residents joined Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association (BIEPA) to highlight the short, but dangerous, beach journey turtles have to make.

While not attracting the number of turtles which nest at Mon Repos, near Bundaberg, Bribie’s nesting beaches still need protection.

“The whole community is recognising the unique value of this amazing place,” BIEPA President Richard Ogden said in the organisation's online blog.

Human turtle leads Bribie campaign

“We must work together to look after our remaining wildlife and natural habitat.”

Local artist Geoff Ginn, who created the turtle outline, said it “brought together a joyous and thoughtful crowd to highlight this risky 100-metre journey turtles take across our beaches many times each year.”

Female turtles return to where they hatched, making the slow journey from surf to the dunes before digging a chamber, laying the eggs, camouflaging the nest and returning to the seas.

Nests average at about 127 eggs and female only spends about two hours on land.

Estimates suggest only one in ten thousand loggerhead turtles which hatch on South-East Queensland beaches survives to return and breed.

BIEPA says beach users should leave turtles alone as they rarely need help.

Any turtle nests or hatchlings should be reported to the Bribie Island Turtle Trackers on 0438 111163 who will respond and collate details.

Human turtle leads Bribie campaign
BIEPA members formed a giant turtle sculpture to mark the start of the new season.

Stay behind nesting turtles, out of the line of sight, and avoid using artificial lights which can disorientate turtles on the beach.

If driving on the beach, avoid soft sand at high tide during the night as nestings and hatches are mostly nocturnal. Use hard sand at low tide in daylight.

Moreton Bay is protected under the United Nations RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands of International Importance

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