Turtle Nesting Activities
Turtle nesting season begins in our area about the middle of October to early January with hatchling emergence continuing until April. The main species of sea turtle nesting on the mainland beaches is the Flatback turtle while the Green and Loggerhead have been recorded laying on the mainland also. Though in much smaller numbers.
The coastal Islands support all three turtles but here the numbers are reversed loggerhead and Green turtle the more prominent.
Turtle monitoring by the Mackay District Turtle Watch Association since it began has confirmed that the area is a low density nesting area with between 30 and 100 female flatbacks nesting annually on the mainland beaches. (Census numbers on offshore islands is still being progressed: see aerial survey report)
Nesting occurs on most of the district beaches with some being more popular than others. Each female will return 3 times on average, 10/ 14 days apart to lay approx. 50 eggs each time.
The term “low density nesting” should not be confused with “unimportant.”
These turtles are nesting in a developed area sharing the beaches with the community and as such are unique, their survival is very important indeed.
The term “low density nesting” should not be confused with “unimportant”
It is too early to make assumptions regarding a decline or increase in turtle numbers in our area. Historically we do not have any evidence of numbers of nesting activity prior to the past 19/20 years. We can only refer to our monitoring data during these years which shows quite a variation in numbers from year to year; hopefully as the data increases any trend will be clearly seen.
Though it would appear at the moment that our population of Flatbacks is reasonably stable.