The clutch of Loggerhead Turtles born at Tugun earlier this year helped inspire a local environmental scientist to launch a turtle-watch program.
Siobhan Houlihan is the turtle rehabilitation coordinator for Sea World and is calling on local beach users to help with this citizen science initiative. ‘We want to improve the information on nesting turtles here on the Gold Coast as currently there is very little data,’ Ms Houlihan said.
She will explain how you can be involved – and more about turtles in general – when she speaks at the free Gecko Talks on Wednesday, October 28.
Turtle Watch will begin to fill the data gap on nesting turtles not just for the appropriate authorities but so there will be better response and reporting of local marine strandings, Ms Houlihan said.
She has the support of Sea World, which rehabilitated and released the Tugun clutch, and non-profit Watergum group which is already involved in citizen science and will help train locals.
Ms Houlihan says local knowledge and involvement is vital. That’s where beach walkers come in.
‘I will also be talking about the turtles of the Gold Coast in general, and touch a little on what is involved in rescue and rehabilitation too,’ she said.
Ms Houlihan has been involved in turtle care and rehabilitation at Sea World for a decade. She recently volunteered with the Department of Environment and Science in Far North Queensland’s turtle nesting programs to assist with the record number of turtles nesting there.
Gecko Talks is on Wednesday, October 28 at Currumbin RSL. Everyone’s welcome. While it’s free, seats are limited so you must book –
Gecko Talks are held every fourth Wednesday at Currumbin RSL.