Marine Turtle Conservation
The Reef is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles and central Queensland beaches offer some of the most important nesting sites. Marine turtles are widely documented and recognised as being a key value of the World Heritage Area so it is not surprising that protection of marine turtle species was raised in two workshops, with project plans developed by Youth and Community event participants. The strategies focus around or were an adaptation of existing marine turtle conservation efforts undertaken through the Team Turtle CQ project, facilitated by Fitzroy Basin Association.
- A youth-led “Team Hatchlings” group
- Maintain or enhance the value of beaches for turtle nesting by bolstering and building upon existing Team Turtle CQ activities
Result from reduction of identified threat:
Both strategies highlighted light pollution as a key threat they would like to see reduced to improve the suitability of Capricorn Coast beaches for turtle nesting and to enhance hatching success rates. There are considerable synergies between the strategies proposed and plenty of opportunities for these to dovetail with existing Team Turtle CQ action for marine turtle conservation on the Capricorn Coast.
Youth Marine Turtle Conservation
This initiative runs alongside the existing Team Turtle CQ project and, in addition to supporting monitoring efforts, focuses on awareness-raising through the development of youth-led media campaigns and merchandise (e.g screen printed shirts, hats, badges, bracelets etc.) for market stalls. Dubbed “Team Hatchlings”, this group is well placed to promote actions to protect marine turtle species through local schools.
Team Hatchings received two years (2021- 2022) of funding from the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from Fitzroy Basin Association.
The program has engaged young people from the Capricorn Coast who have collaborated with Traditional Custodians from Woppaburra and Darumbal, and experienced TTCQ volunteers.
Together the group have focused on reducing the negative effects of light pollution on marine turtles. They have attended multiple community events and disseminated educational communication campaigns with their catch phase – Turtles About, so Lights Out!
Team Hatchlings are seeking further investment to continue on-groud works.
Community Marine Turtle Conservation
These participants wished to highlight the value of marine turtles on the Capricorn Coast by adding weight and value to Team Turtle CQ efforts. This Community developed project plan highlighted a desire to increase predator management activities and to foster more sustainable beach driving behaviours. Additionally, the project seeks to increase awareness of dog and cat owner responsibilities to ensure local pets are not detrimentally impacting nesting or hatching outcomes.
Want to support one or both of these projects?
Due to Team Turtle CQ (TTCQ) being an established and well-recognised program running on the Capricorn and Curtis Coasts, all activities or projects that align with or complement TTCQ need to be discussed and designed in consultation with FBA’s TTCQ Project Coordinator. This will ensure both projects run as effectively as possible, without detracting from existing TTCQ activities.
The Capricorn Coast Reef Community Action Plan project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from Capricornia Catchments and Fitzroy Basin Association.