IT SEEMS the turtles have hatched a plan this season, laying a nest in front of the high-rise development site proposed by Sekisui House.
Early this morning the first nest of the 2016/2017 season for the Coolum and North Shore Coast Care Group was spotted.
A loggerhead turtle had nested along the dunes at Yaroomba beach access 91.
Group president Leigh Warneminde said the section of beach was a popular spot for nesting turtles because of the darkness.
"It's like the turtle is trying to tell people to protect our beaches,” Ms Warneminde said.
"It's our first nest and we're very excited.”
Mrs Warneminde said turtle season started in November and the group monitored from Mudjimba to Noosa.
"The majority of them lay at A Bay, Marcus and Peregian beaches, North Coolum, Yaroomba and Marcoola,” Ms Warneminde said.
"It's where the beaches are the darkest.”
Ms Warneminde said at the start of each season the group laminated pieces of paper with instructions on what to do if residents spotted a nest, a turtle, or their tracks.
"All our members phone numbers are on there and we will try to get there as soon as possible,” she said.
"As long as you give an accurate description of the nest, we'll come along, locate the chamber, GPS it and triangulate the nest then put some plastic mesh over the top to protect it.
"There are so few nests and turtles that we do whatever we can to protect the population.”
Ms Warneminde said if you spotted a turtle nesting to make sure all lights were turned off and you remained still.
"If a turtle is disturbed they will sometimes dump their eggs at sea,” she said.
"But once they've started laying their eggs you could walk up behind them quietly and sit and watch because they get in a zone.”
She said last season they had about 16 nests which was quieter than usual.
"We normally have about 25, that's been our biggest season, and it depends on the wind direction and currents,” she said.
"I think we might have a busy season this year but we'll have to wait and see.”
If you see a nest, or a turtle on the beach, Ms Warneminde said to take the following steps:
1. Save the hotline numbers in your phone and report sightings: TurtleCare 0437 559 067 (Mooloolaba to Caloundra) and Coolum and North Shore Coast Care Group 0403 370 157 (Mudjimba to Noosa).
2. Turn off torches and sit down quietly at a distance, turtles will not lay if frightened.
3. Keep dogs leashed and well away.
4. Dispose of all rubbish carefully.
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