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BMRG receives boost for turtle population

Burnett Mary Regional Group BMRG
Gidarjil Development Corporation Sea Ranger, Earin Saltner with a loggerhead turtle hatchling.

The Burnett Mary Regional Group will partner with Gidarjil Development Corporation to ensure local turtle populations are protected after receiving a nest to ocean grant.

Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon announced that BMRG would receive nearly $150,000 in funding to work on their innovative ‘Taking turtles off the menu’ project.

“The project will aim to reduce residential and traffic light pollution with the installation of shade screening on the beach, which is part of the low glow program,” Minister Scanlon said.

“There will also be a concerted effort to remove marine debris, things like rubbish, fishing lines and tackle and other dumped items that can cause harm to turtles.”

The project will also restore beach nesting habitat by implementing a number of initiatives that include; predator management, weed and revegetation management, installing predator exclusion cages, light exclusion screening and rolling out community engagement and education.

BMRG Deputy Operations Manager Abbie Taylor said that the grant offered a great opportunity for BMRG and partner organisations such as Gidarjil Development Corporation to work together to protect these significant species.

“Queensland is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle, and they all face threats in the marine environment and in the dunes where they lay their eggs,” Ms Taylor said.

BMRG CEO Sheila Charlesworth said the grant was extremely important to help protect turtles in the region.

“Our region is internationally renowned for its marine turtle nesting sites,” Ms Charlesworth said.

“These sites support significant breeding populations of endangered loggerhead turtles and vulnerable green and flatback turtles.

“These iconic species experience a range of serious threats to their survival. That’s why we are passionate about carrying out these projects and working with our partner organisations to do as much as we can.”

The grant is part of round six of the successful Nest to Ocean program. For the past seven years, the program has also helped reduce threat from feral animals through nest protection and feral animal control programs.

For more information about the $5.8 million nest to ocean program, please visit the DES website.

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