Loggerhead turtle tagged to gather vital facts

January 8, 2018 by  

The movements of a female loggerhead turtle, which had laid 139 eggs on a Sunshine Coast beach recently, are to be monitored.

The turtles are no strangers to beachgoers from Maroochydore and along the popular Queensland Sunshine Coast coastline, because the area attracts an estimated 500 nesting females annually.

The latest sighting at Shelly Beach was captured by council conservation officers and a group of dedicated volunteers from TurtleCare who have placed a tracking devise tag on the turtle to monitor her travels until the next nesting season.

Researchers are hoping that by following the journey of the reptile via satellite, they will be able to put together information that will then be collated and, perhaps with the help of printing services, made available for interested readers.

Sunshine Coast Council Conservation Officer Kate Hofmeister said council is undertaking the work with Dr. Col Limpus, who is celebrating 50 years in turtle research throughout the state.

His work has involved the use of the latest GPS trackers available.

According to information posted on the council’s website, loggerhead turtles can lay up to 150 eggs. In Australia though, their clutch is usually about 127.

Hoffmeister said that by tagging the turtle, researchers are hoping to add to the already established facts about the creature, including information about its feeding grounds, migratory routes and inter-nesting habitats.

The aim of the tag is to track the turtle’s movements over the next year.