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Save The Turtles

Story: Patricia Higgins | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Mar 19, 2024
Save The Turtles
While locals are lucky to have Scarborough’s Queens Beach north as a ‘homing beacon’ for turtle hatchlings, we have a responsibility to raise awareness for their care as a community – a duty that has only grown more acute in recent years.

According to Colin Scobie, Vice-president of Rotary Redcliffe Sunrise Inc and the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG), that’s exactly what his organisation has set out to do on an upcoming Family Turtle Expo Day.

The event is in support of turtle conservation and against single-use plastics (plastic breaks up but doesn’t ever break down, and numerous plastic items are often retrieved from the biopsy of turtles), but it also has a critical backstory.

“In February 2010, hundreds of newborn turtles in the area hatched out to a high sand embankment and headed to the bright street lights instead of heading out to sea,” Mr Scobie said.

A repeat of the incident should be carefully avoided, according to Mr Scobie, even if the disaster was largely averted when “many neighbours along Flinders Parade came out at 11pm and turned the baby hatchlings around towards the ocean.”

“The hatchling’s geocompass is set at this stage to eventually return as adults after they have travelled the EAC (East Australian Current) to South America and back,” Mr Scobie said.

“When they get back to nest at Queens Beach North as adults is anyone’s guess, but we do know they nest at nearby beaches.”

Mr Scobie said that the Turtle Expo Day presented a major opportunity to learn key concepts and gain knowledge about the diverse range of biodiversity that is on our doorstep.

The free community event will include expert talks and presentations, an array of kid-friendly activities, and what might be the main attraction – a plastic turtle installation (made from single-use plastics that were collected from beaches all around the peninsula) on display for discussion.

Plenty of free car parking (with room for wheelchair access) will be available on the day.

To find out more, follow ESRAG on Facebook at

To learn more about the 2010 turtle incident, visit

Family Turtle Expo Day
Saturday, 20 April, 10am-2pm
Queens Beach North, Scarborough.