Bundaberg 4WD Club members headed to the Middle Rock campgrounds, in the Deepwater National Park, to team up with the members of the Turtlecare Volunteers Queensland group to help the environment.
Assisting with a beach clean-up and gathering information about the turtles that nest in the area as part of a project the club is involved with to promote responsible four wheel driving, especially on beaches where turtles frequent.
Members scoured the beach for rubbish, collecting just over 100 kilograms in the 8-kilometre stretch between Red Rock and Wreck Rock.
It was pleasing to see that the beach was relatively clean, which could have been due to the big seas recently dispersing the rubbish further afield and other campers cleaning up when they visit.
The Turtlecare Volunteers Qld have been monitoring activity from their base camp at the Wreck Rock camping area since 1977.
Bev and Nev McLachlan have dedicated over 45 years to the program, returning each year to patrol the 22 kilometre stretch of beach tagging adult turtles, monitoring the nesting and hatching of the newborns, along with trying to keep the foxes and goannas from digging up the nests.
An emerging problem is the feral pig population, that if [it] gets a foothold in the area, will decimate the turtle population.
The section of beach is one of the rare spots where four different species have been recorded nesting.
Loggerheads, greens and flatbacks visit frequently and until the mid-1990s it was the last known nesting site in Queensland for the rare leatherback turtle.
If you have a passion for the environment and have an interest in the study of turtles the Turtlecare group are always on the lookout for like-minded volunteers to join them. You can find more information on Facebook about their activities.
Bundaberg 4WD Club, Brad Praed
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