A new tracking program has revealed that loggerhead turtles travel the same distance as the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in just five months.
Scientists are concerned about this saying the turtles are avoiding certain areas because there’s simply too much light.
Natalie Sprott reports.
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Tracking devices like these were attached to three female loggerhead turtles last summer in an effort to pin-point the migration patterns of the endangered species.
Dr. Col Limpus, Scientist, Dept of Environment: “The information is transmitted from the turtle, up to the satellites, relayed back to earth stations and we pick it up via computer.”
What they found was quite surprising.
Dr. Col Limpus, Scientist, Dept of Environment: “We’ve got indications that the turtles are moving away from brightly illuminated areas based on where they’re nesting.”
The findings have prompted the government to look at possible strategies for maintaining the population of the turtles.
Kate Jones, Qld Climate Change and Sustainability Minister: “It will also inform where, if necessary we need to put in additional “go slow” zones so we don’t have boat strikes on this endangered species.”
Each year 600 female loggerhead turtles breed in South East Queensland. While the project has started monitoring three turtles, it plans to monitor many more.
Kate Jones, Qld Climate Change and Sustainability Minister: “We think it is so important to invest in new data and information that protects species such as the loggerhead turtle.”
The announcement today comes as Queensland celebrates Threatened Species Week.
Natalie Sprott, QUT News.