A Couples 40 Year “Sacrifice” To Save Loggerhead Turtles


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A Couples 40 Year “Sacrifice” To Save Loggerhead Turtles (Australia, Great Barrier Reef) (I’d Call it Dedication Not Sacrifice)

Melissa Davey, The Hindu, JANUARY 01, 2017
It’s about 7 p.m. at the remote Wreck Rock beach within Deepwater national park in Queensland and Nev and Bev McLachlan are starting the night watch.

For the past 40 years, the husband and wife have been travelling from their home on the Sunshine Coast to a tiny campsite about 140km north of Bundaberg, their enormous caravan full of camp supplies as well as turtle tagging and monitoring gear.

As the sun goes down, Nev (64) and Bev (61) pull on their bright orange turtle patrol shirts, grab their helmets with headlamps and their walkie-talkies, and jump on to separate quad bikes. They drive on to the 22 km stretch of beach, alongside the southern Great Barrier Reef, and start their patrol up and down the sand. Their watch sometimes continues until the crack of dawn, until the endangered female loggerhead turtles they are there to monitor stop emerging from the water to lay their eggs.

Their meticulous and entirely voluntary work over four decades measuring, tagging and making observations about the turtles, which is fed back into a central turtle monitoring database, means researchers have been able to better understand turtle numbers and put measures in place to protect them.

Wreck Rock is one of a handful of sites around Australia where loggerhead turtles come to lay their eggs.

The turtles have faced many challenges to their numbers over the years, Bev says. The data they collect will eventually be analysed by the chief scientist for Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Dr Col Limpus, himself a world-famous turtle researcher. — Original Source The Guardian