People who visit the World Science Festival in Brisbane are able to witness one of nature’s most spectacular feats the birth of tiny loggerhead turtles at a controlled environment hatchery.

Kurravi Piggott reports.


Hatched into captivity at Queensland Museum for the World Science Festival ready to be released into the wild.

In front of eager eyes these loggerhead turtles are breaking their way into the world for the first time.

Patrick Couper, Reptile Curator: “It’s usually something people don’t see. It usually happens underneath the sand in the nest chamber.”

Vox 1: “It’s been amazing, it’s been fantastic.”

Vox 2: “I like all of the turtles and all of the jellyfish.”

Around 80 eggs were taken from near the Bundaberg coast line in January and carefully monitored to hatch in time for the festival.

Patrick Couper, Reptile Curator: “We know that if we incubate these eggs at 29.9 degrees they’ll hatch after a 55 day period.”

After hatching they’ll be kept at Sea Life on the Sunshine Coast and fitted with satellite tracking devices.

The turtles will be released 20km off Mooloolaba and travel as far as Chile, for up to 15 years.

But only one in 10,000 will make it back to Queensland to breed as an adult.

Patrick Couper, Reptile Curator: “There’s a significant loss of loggerheads off the coast of Chile and Peru.”

Plastic bags are a huge threat to turtle populations they look incredibly similar to a jellyfish.

Aaron Sprowl, Sea Life Sunshine Coast: “They look at that and think it’s a jellyfish and think I can eat that.”

This display highlights just how similar the two look.

Dr Colin Limpus, Dept of Environment: “Unfortunately they don’t discriminate, so they feed on a lot of the floating plastic.”

It’s hoped the hatchery will bring much needed awareness to the logger head turtles. Now an endangered species.

Vox 3: “I’ll be going plastic bag free when I go home.”

A small change to help protect a species.

Kurravi Piggott, QUT News.