A green turtle hatchling at Rainbow Beach.
A green turtle hatchling at Rainbow Beach.

Rainbow turtle hatchlings go from cliff jumping to surfing

IT HAS been a long wait but a happy ending for many turtle hatchlings relocated from an exposed cliff-face nest at Rainbow Beach.

MORE LOCAL TURTLE NEWS:

2500 baby turtles could drown at Rainbow Beach

Race to save turtle eggs at Rainbow Beach

Gympie's turtle nesting season just got more interesting

The nest of "Bess" a green turtle was exposed after severe sand cliff erosion on March 9. Volunteers from Cooloola Coastcare Association decided to relocate the precariously perched eggs.

The exposed green turtle nest at Rainbow Beach.
The exposed green turtle nest at Rainbow Beach.

"It is at 53 days so the decision was made to relocate the eggs to a new egg chamber," a Facebook post for the association stated on March 10.

"Murray, with the help of Jan and under the watchful eye of a number of community members, successfully relocated (the) eggs," the post said.

Another post from Tuesday recounted the events of what was "an unusual hatching."

"Happy news again today as another nest of Green Turtles hatched overnight on Rainbow Beach.

"This nest was a relocated nest so we're excited that our efforts helped save these babies because these eggs had been fully exposed during the rough weather during the passing of the cyclone.

RESCUED: 131 turtle eggs were relocated at Rainbow Beach
RESCUED: 131 turtle eggs were relocated at Rainbow Beach

"They plucked 124 eggs from a wall of sand when they were visible, saving them from certain death.

"This has been an unusual hatching.

"Thursday at 10pm one lonely turtle popped out and made it to the ocean.

"(On) Monday 14 April at 6pm another solo voyager popped out and made it," the post states.

The post then goes on to say two volunteers had been regularly checking on the nest once at 10.30pm Monday, once at 1am Tuesday morning, and another at 4am Tuesday.

"Jan went back at 4am and yipee, lots of prints," the post said.

Tracks from a large loggerhead turtle which laid eggs on a Rainbow Beach access track.
Tracks from a large loggerhead turtle which laid eggs on a Rainbow Beach access track.

"So many more turtles have survived from all the work all the diligent volunteers have done this season than would have ever survived without our help."

There have been a number of sightings and hatchings this past season with a loggerhead turtle nest hatching on Friday, March 5, and another green turtle nest hatching about 90 baby turtles on Sunday, March 7.

The association estimates it lost about four nests to severe beach erosion in early March.

"The good news is this won't happen next year as we now have permits to move all of these endangered nests," a post from March 10 stated.

In mid December a large loggerhead turtle reportedly laid a clutch of eggs in the middle of the pedestrian access to Rainbow Beach.

A massive downpour in mid January meant that two loggerhead turtle nests needed to be excavated and relocated to prevent prolonged flooding of the nests.

These nests were placed in the same pedestrian walkway that had been blocked off to traffic due to the other nest from December.

Gympie Times


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