The ‘Make Turtles Count’ project will be launched on Friday, October 31, with the release of two young turtles at Byron Bay’s The Pass at 8.15am. Volunteers will be sought to help carry out the project.
‘Sassy’ and ‘Rasputin’ have been in treatment at Australian Seabird Rescue’s WildlifeLink Turtle Hospital since June.
The Make Turtles Count project has been funded by WWF and the Australian Government.
A beach monitoring program will span the turtle nesting and hatching season, from November 1 to April 30, as well as four 10-day underwater surveys conducted through the year.
It’s an ambitious project, covering 225 kilometres of coastline between the Clarence and Tweed rivers.
Partner agencies include the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Cape Byron Marine Park, Southern Cross University and the Byron Underwater Research Group.
Project Co-ordinator Keith Williams said: “A comprehensive nesting and population survey has never been undertaken on the Far North Coast and is vital for the ongoing protection of these endangered species.
“Over the past few years local beach users have demonstrated their interest in looking out for turtles and now we all have the opportunity to work together on this project.
“We need at least a hundred people to help monitor the beaches.
“So many people already walk, surf, swim or fish on the beaches, it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for and how to report turtle activity.”
ASR will also be promoting the project at local markets and community events and people will be able to sign up for the project at a ‘Make Turtles Count’ stall.
Further information is available by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning ASR (66 862 852) during office hours.