‘Taking turtles off the menu’ at Oaks Beach

BMRG Deputy Operations Manager Abbie Taylor inspects the works at Oaks beach. Picture: AARON GOODWIN

By Aaron Goodwin

Backed by $150,000 of funding from the State Government, the Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) are taking steps to protect the turtle population right along the Woongarra Coast.

The $150,000 has been given to BMRG as part of the Nest to Ocean program.

The funding for BMRG will go towards their project, ‘Taking turtles off the menu’, aiming to reduce residential and traffic light pollution with the installation of shade screening on the beach, which is part of the low glow program.

BMRG Deputy Operations Manager Abbie Taylor said that the on ground works will be done over the next eight weeks at a number of beaches.

”Key activities include control of the European fox populations along some key beaches,” Ms Taylor said.

”Installation of light screening to protect Oaks Beach.

”Re-vegetation and weeding at Oaks Beach and installation of turtle predation cages at Moore Park Beach.

”Foxes have been a particular concern along the Woongarra Coast for many years.

”We’ve been able to do four consecutive years of fox control.

”It looks like we are getting on top of the numbers, with only a few captured this year.”

BMRG has partnered with the Gidarjil Development Corporation on this project, with Gidarjil delivering the lion’s share of the on ground works.

”Oaks Beach was a good place to start for us as a smaller rookery,” Ms Taylor said.

”Some of the major rookeries like Mon Repos get a lot of funding, so this was an opportunity to work in with the council and do some work at one of our smaller beaches.

”There’s a lot more work that we have to do, we hope to apply for more funding in the future so we can continue the work we are doing.”

Ms Taylor said that the re-vegetation and weeding at Oaks Beach is a strategic long term approach for turtle conservation.

”We are grateful for all the work that the turtle volunteers do in our region and we look forward to supporting them in the future,” Ms Taylor said.