Sea Turtles

Noosa Beaches are home to nesting sea turtles!

Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)

Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)

Loggerhead turtles and green turtles nest on Noosa beaches from November to March, Both are threatened species, with the loggerhead turtle listed as endangered under state and Commonwealth legislation. Sea turtles usually lay around 100-125 eggs per nest and it is estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to reach adulthood. Hatchling sex is determined by the sand temperature the eggs incubate in. Eggs that incubate below 27.7°C will be male and eggs that incubate above 27.7°C will be female.

Report stranded or dead sea turtles

Please report stranded, ill or dead turtles to the Queensland Government’s Marine Animal Stranding Hotline - 1300 ANIMAL (1300 130 372). Never place a sick turtle back in the water, they require specialised care and may drown.

Threats to sea turtles

Sea turtles face numerous threats throughout all stages of their lifecycle. Significant threats facing our local turtle populations include:

  • Vehicles driving on the dunes can crush nests and compact the sand, making it difficult for hatchlings to emerge.
  • Artificial lighting on our coastal strip can deter nesting turtles and disorientate emerging hatchlings.
  •  Climate change and increased storm intensity leads to eroded dunes and essential nesting habitat.
  • Without interventions such as fox control programs and artificial nest protection, eggs and hatchlings are vulnerable to predation.
  • Marine debris including plastic and ropes kill turtles through ingestion and entanglement.
  • Increased severity of flooding events due to climate change can compromise sea grass health, resulting in turtle starvation events.

How you can help sea turtles

Our community plays a major role in helping to conserve sea turtles. You can help our sea turtle overcome increasing threats to their survival through:

  • Considering supporting or joining community volunteer groups such as Coolum and North Shore Coast Care, who play a major role in sea turtle monitoring and conservation across our region.
  • Reduce daily plastic consumption, recycle and consider picking up any plastics you may encounter while walking our beautiful beaches.
  • If you live on our coastal strip, consider how to reduce the amount of light radiating towards our beaches.
  • If you are visiting Noosa North Shore, please keep off the dunes and drive at low tide.
  • When boating in our local estuaries, bays and nearshore waters, ‘go slow for those below’.
  • Report turtle tracks and nests to Council.

Turtley Awesome

What Council is doing to help conserve sea turtles

Given increasing threats to sea turtles, Noosa Council is working closely with the community and partner organisations to deliver the following conservation initiatives:

  • The development of a Sea Turtle Conservation Plan alongside sea turtle conservation partners.
  • Addressing threats to sea turtles from 4WD impacts along Noosa North Shore.
  • Partnering with the Sunshine Coast Council’s Clean up for the Hatchlings event, to inspire the whole community to come together to help clean up beaches in preparation for the hatchling turtles.
  • Managing impacts to our coastal foreshores through policy and planning mechanisms such as Council’s Eastern Beaches Foreshore Management Plan.
  • Addressing artificial lighting on at nesting beach through community awareness programs and other planning strategies.
  • Undertaking fox control programs within our coastal dune systems.
  • Continuing Council’s turtle nest monitoring program along Noosa North Shore.
  • Supporting and working with community volunteer groups in turtle nest monitoring programs, dune revegetation and marine debris reduction programs.

Useful links to sea turtle conservation resources