Find out What Happened to The Loggerhead Turtle hatchlings
Queensland is home to six out of seven of the world’s sea turtle species. Annually, our beaches are the starting line for thousands of baby turtles who march their way to the big blue sea from their nests, as they jostle for a place in the Eastern Australian Current (gnarly dude!).
To witness these magical creatures hatch and take their first steps is an incredible experience, and that’s why it’s always an honour to bring The Hatchery: Turtle Conservation experience to the public during World Science Festival Brisbane.
Since the festival began in 2016, hundreds of eggs have hatched as visitors delight in this wonderful conservation miracle. But, none of this happens without the careful planning and consultation by Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Biodiversity Program Queensland Museum, Patrick Couper and world renowned marine turtle expert, Dr Colin Limpus.
Q & A with PATRICK COUPER
Senior Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Biodiversity Program Queensland Museum
Why was The Hatchery cancelled in 2022?
The safety of the Loggerhead Turtle hatchlings is our number one priority. Impacts from the recent floods, along with power outages and access issues, contributed to this decision.
What happened to the turtle eggs incubating for the 2022 WSFB?
Following the cancellation of the 2022 Festival, the eggs were transported to a Sunshine Coast beach. At no time were the eggs compromised by this relocation, as the developing embryos were sufficiently robust to handle this movement. Upon hatching, the little turtles make their way to the ocean and swim out to the Eastern Current, which is where natural hatchling dispersal for this species occurs. If these hatchlings survive to maturity, the females will return to nest on the Southeast Queensland Coast. Suitable nesting beaches occur from the islands of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, south to the sand islands of Moreton Bay. All Loggerhead Turtles nesting in South East Queensland belong to the same genetic stock, so any nesting beach within this region is suitable for the eggs. Contrary to popular belief, female turtles do not always return, as adults, to their natal beach to lay their eggs. It is not uncommon to see an individual turtle move between nesting beaches from one season to the next.
Find out about the Queensland Turtle Conservation Project.