Turtle sightings are common in the ocean surrounding our beaches but until recently it was thought that nesting activities within the region were mainly confined to isolated beaches on South Stradbroke Island. This all changed in 2020 when some members of the public found some disorientated Loggerhead hatchings on a Southern Gold Coast Beach. Thanks to their quick actions in engaging Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and Sea World, those hatchings were successfully rehabilitated and released back into the Ocean. The image below shows one of the hatchlings being examined by one of the Sea World rescue team.
Inspired by the actions of the general public in that situation, Watergum and Sea World have joined forces to create the TurtleWatch Gold Coast program, a citizen science program that uses information from the community to monitor sea turtle activity on the Gold Coast.
We now have an army of trained TurtleWatch volunteers who regularly monitor Gold Coast beaches during their early morning walks and look for signs of turtle nesting activity on the beach. The more information we have about turtles nests on the Gold Coast, the better equipped we are to protect them.
Through joining the TurtleWatch program you will learn how to identify turtles and their tracks, and how to record your data so that you can work together with SeaWorld and Watergum to better protect hatchings on our urban beaches. In recent years, turtles are increasingly choosing the busy beaches of the Gold Coast as a nesting site where they face many more potential hazards than other locations, so its important that regular beach goers are looking out for them!