Turtle Nesting at Mon Repos Beach, Bundaberg. Not Turtle Soup Time!
Turtle Nesting – Like Watching Someone Give Birth!
After witnessing my first Power Boat Racing carnival at Bundy Thunder, I ended up doing something completely different on that night – checking out Turtle Nesting at Mon Repos Beach near Bundaberg (about 4 hours drive north of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia).
Mon Repos Beach (Mon Repos is French for ‘My Rest’) is a turtle rookery that provides a nesting sanctuary for loggerhead, flatback, green and leatherback turtles.
Yes, it might seem weird to crowd around an animal that is effectively giving birth, but it’s something worth seeing at least once in your life – I love watching wildlife doing their own thing and being near them makes one appreciate the natural wonders of the world.
These days, while turtles are now watched in their natural environment without the fear of being made into Turtle Soup, the Queensland Park and Wildlife Service station located at Mon Repos Beach provides a reminder of previous politically incorrect times!
A turtle soup can! Turtle Soup production was only banned in the 1950′s, which isn’t that long ago! Yes, this is a blast from the past!
Times have changed! Just like this photo of this woman mistaking a turtle for a horse in the 1930s!
Unlike the Sea Turtles in Nicaragua, the Turtle Nesting activities at Mon Repos Beach don’t require a military guard!
In the 2010 nesting season, approximately 80 turtles laid their eggs on this stretch of beach. The tours organised by the Wildlife Service commence in November and run through to late March – this includes when the hatchlings emerge from the sand and make their first journey into the ocean.
I’ve only witnessed the Turtle Nesting part – where the turtle drags herself up the beach to find a suitable spot to lay all of her eggs.
The turtle is measured and tags are checked whilst she’s ‘concentrating’ on laying the eggs. This is important information on the life cycle of the turtle that has been used in many years of research (see video below).
Turtle Nesting – Short Video
Ultra sounds of the turtles ovaries are also undertaken to work out how many times the turtle may nest in the same season. This particular turtle has enough eggs for at least another two layings this season.
But it feels like I only have part of the story. I want to come back and watch the thousands of turtle hatchlings make their perilous journey into the Pacific Ocean!
More Turtle Nesting Stuff
For other cool activities like watching Turtles Nesting at Mon Repos Beach, check out Queensland Holidays. Also see Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation.