THE Mary River turtle is possibly breathing easier - even if that involves exhaling and inhaling through its rear end - thanks to some Kenilworth park improvements.
Sunshine Coast councillor Paul Tatton said the endangered turtle, which helped make the unpopular Traveston Crossing dam project extinct, was thriving as a result of works in the Charles St Park.
"One of the key components of the council's work in Charles St Park was installing vehicular barriers at the river end to prevent vandalism and access to the river bank, which is an ideal area for nesting turtles," Cr Tatton said.
"As a result, there were a total of six Mary River turtle nests laid in the newly protected area this season, which is a wonderful outcome for this endangered species."
Cr Tatton said the local community had played a key role in helping the turtles.
"Locals met with me and council staff on site and outlined their aspirations for improvements in passive recreation, site rehabilitation and environmental protection and interpretation. The council took that information on board, along with feedback from community consultation, to draft a concept plan for the park that reflected the local priorities of revegetation and weed control, walkways, seating and additional tree-planting.
"After further consultation, it was determined that preventing vehicular access to the river bank was a key priority. In October last year, the council installed an interpretive sign about the turtles," he said.