Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

July 9th 2012
What to do when you find a stranded turtle?

A sick and stranded turtle Magnetic Island residents will know that our sea turtles have been having a rough time over the past few years. With winter upon us, unfortunately a higher number of sea turtles are washing up on our shores. Turtles are affected by the cooler water temperatures, so if they are sick or weak already they struggle to survive.

You can help turtles by assisting authorities to record as many of the stranded turtles as possible. The information collected from these animals contributes to a data base that helps turtle conservation through allowing managers to understand the impacts on our turtle populations.

If you find a dead turtle, donít touch it. Taking photos of the turtle is very helpful. Also take note of where it is, what size it is and any other observations. Call the RSPCA hotline: 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

If you find a live turtle first check that the turtle isnít just basking. Turtles will often lie on the mudflats at low tide to warm up in the sun. If a turtle is washed up on the beach generally it will be sick. You can tell a sick turtle as it will be very weak and look unwell so first call 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625), then call the local Rangers or wildlife carers to attend to the animal.

Remember that unfortunately every turtle canít be saved. Sometimes the turtle is just too sick and wonít make it. And there is not always space available at turtle rehabilitation facilities.

Magnetic Island Network for Turtles are planning to conduct marine strandings training later this year on Magnetic Island so interested community members can learn how to respond to a stranded turtle.

Article and photo courtesy of Magnetic Island Network for Turtles

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

What to do when you find a stranded turtle?
July 9th 2012
Thanks for the article and phone no. I found a dead turtle washed up on the eastern end of HSB Beach early Sunday morning.
Steve Lane
July 15th 2012
You can't be serious!!! "A rough time over the past few years". as opposed to the Golden Years when Turtle life was so much better...

"Turtles are affected by cooler water temperatures.": In what way?
Is 2012 the year of the great first Turtle Winter. To be later remembered as the first year in 4.5 billion years in which Turtles encountered a cooler water temperature during the non Summer months and thus, the great decline in their population began...Due obviously to anthropological ominous climate change...
Give me a break...
I. Getit
July 16th 2012
Sure Steve there probably havenít been ďGolden YearsĒ for turtles for a long time. Like before plastic bags appeared which look like their prey but choke them horribly to death, or longer back to when steel propellors didnít chop them to bits as they rose for air, or even further back before feral pigs discovered how tasty the eggs are and, in places like Cape York, dig up masses of nests to wipe out future generations. They donít get listed as vulnerable or threatened or endangered or critically endangered for nothing. So, yep Steve, sure has been a while since the Golden Years but I just donít get how you canít get it that these days aint what they used to be.

Plants and animals have times of the year when thereís plenty of food and conditions are good. It seems pretty obvious to me that the Turtle Network people are talking about winter as always being harder for turtles - like it is for us in February if youíre working outside all day long - and because turtles have had such a hammering from all the stuff above and plenty more than that, itís more likely that, when the harder time of year arrives, we will see them sick and in need of help.
July 17th 2012
Ahhh... The Golden Years! I guess that before extended wet seasons and flooding washed the sediments and chemicals of human making into our oceans drowning out the sun and causing the sea grass to slowly die back. And just to top it off the biggest cyclone in recorded history and state-wide flooding resulting in widespread collapse of sea grass along the Queensland coast.

I suppose times for turtles would have been better before their main food source collapsed. Reptiles find it hard in the cold every year, let alone when they are starving and diseased!

Climate sceptics would be in a better place to be sceptical if they would only inform themselves of the realities of our world. Our environment is falling apart before our eyes - are we to blind to see it?
Ture Sjolander
July 25th 2012
I would make a soup of it sprinkled with fine smoked slices of a death adder skin,together with a small side dish of cold smoked dugong genetalia, decorated with feather from a curlew, and present it on the Television Master Chef Show.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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