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Baby Loggerhead Turtles Washing Ashore

A week ago a baby loggerhead turtle was found at One Tree beach, Tuross Head, and taken to Janet Jones from WIRES Mid-South Coast. This was remarkable as loggerhead turtles are normally found in coral reefs, bays and estuaries off the coast of Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and northern New South Wales. "I contacted the Australian Seabird Rescue carer near Nowra, who already had three about the same size. She advised what immediate care and housing was required. We met at Ulladulla the next day so the turtle could have appropriate care, and be with others”, Janet said.

Photo: Janet Jones

Extreme weather combined with a warm coastal current is thought to have carried these baby loggerhead turtles much further south than usual and pushed them back onshore. Hatchlings have also been found at Merimbula, Pambula, Vincentia and Currarong Beach.

Loggerhead turtles nest on beaches in Queensland until late February and then the hatchlings crawl into the ocean and swim out to sea. It is a time when they are very vulnerable. They are an endangered species that is important to the health of sea grass beds and reefs.

Anyone finding a baby turtle washed up on the beach should not try and put it back in the sea as it is likely to be exhausted and maybe even injured. They should put it in a box and contact WIRES on 1300 094 737 or Australian Seabird Rescue South Coast Branch on 0431 282 238.

Photo: Australian Seabird Rescue