A turtle hatchling on a beach in Mackay's Northern Beaches. Picture: Jess Sabatino.
A turtle hatchling on a beach in Mackay's Northern Beaches. Picture: Jess Sabatino.

Plan to stop crushing of hatchlings on Mackay beaches

Every year baby turtles on Mackay beaches face being crushed to death inside the egg before they can hatch out of their nests.

Mackay and District Turtle Watch Association member Cass Hayward said cars, quad bikes and motorbikes rode over the beaches and foredunes risking hundreds of hatchlings each turtle nesting season between October and late-March.

Driving tracks found at Harbour Beach during turtle nesting season, 2020. Picture: Cass Hayward.
Driving tracks found at Harbour Beach during turtle nesting season, 2020. Picture: Cass Hayward.

“Four-wheel-driving over dune systems is bad at any time of year and can cause many problems including erosion but during these Spring and Summer months, there is the added risk of destroying turtle nests,” Ms Hayward said.

“We understand people are just trying to have fun and don’t set out to do harm.”

A turtle nesting season sign in the Gladstone area. Picture: Lou Weeze, via Mackay and District Turtle Watch Facebook group.
A turtle nesting season sign in the Gladstone area. Picture: Lou Weeze, via Mackay and District Turtle Watch Facebook group.

MDTWA members, who had taken it upon themselves to erect makeshift warning signs along foredunes, have asked Mackay Regional Council for help with more permanent signage.

More stories:

TURTLE WATCH: Nesting season begins in Mackay

Eungella Rainforest wonders ‘would meet UNESCO standard’

WATCH: How you can spot platypus at Eungella

MRC development services director Aletta Nugent said the Natural Environment team would work with the group to develop a signage program to install signs on identified beaches in time for the next turtle season.

Flatback turtle tracks at Bucasia beach, 2020. Picture: Joely Whiting
Flatback turtle tracks at Bucasia beach, 2020. Picture: Joely Whiting

“Council has previously worked closely with the group in regard to implementing interpretative signage about marine turtles as well as turtle tracking and monitoring projects,” Ms Nugent said.

A flatback turtle making its way back to the ocean on Bucasia beach. Picture: Joely Whiting.
A flatback turtle making its way back to the ocean on Bucasia beach. Picture: Joely Whiting.

“It’s also a timely reminder that for the safety and protection of turtle hatchlings, that residents remember to follow all beach access signage in the area, especially where it clearly states that no vehicles are permitted.”

Subscriber benefits:

Your dose of Harry Bruce cartoons

Five ways to get more from your digital subscription


VISION: Burnett man, impaled by rusty rod, flown to hospital

Premium Content VISION: Burnett man, impaled by rusty rod, flown to hospital

A man in his 60s was flown to hospital to have a rusty metal rod removed fro his...

South Burnett’s most shocking court cases so far in 2021

Premium Content South Burnett’s most shocking court cases so far in 2021

South Burnett courts have already dealt with some shocking cases this year...

Suspected space junk lights up the Burnett night sky

Premium Content Suspected space junk lights up the Burnett night sky

Burnett residents watched in awe as space junk, believed to be from a Chinese...