Local loggerhead breaks record in marathon swim
KALKIE State School students were some of the first students in Australia to participate in the WWF-Australia lessons but they weren't the only ones making a splash for World Turtle Day.
A little loggerhead turtle from the Mon Repos Conservation Park swam a marathon 2000km journey from Bundaberg to her home in the Torres Strait in three months, and was the focus of yesterday's World Turtle Day.
Environment Minister Steven Miles said the female loggerhead, known by her satellite tag QA57223, had made the longest recorded journey for a loggerhead turtle nesting in eastern Australia tracked using satellite telemetry.
"World Turtle Day, which is celebrated globally on 23 May each year, aims to bring attention to turtles worldwide, and to encourage human action to help them survive," Dr Miles said.
"On this World Turtle Day, the incredible journey of this little turtle is a great example of how scientific research is increasing our understanding of these much-loved marine animals."
Dr Miles said she was fitted with a satellite tag before she left the nesting beach at Mon Repos on January 30.
QA57223 arrived home in the Torres Strait on April 6 and has now settled down in deep waters between Horne and Moa islands.
Her average speed was 21km per day with no evidence of significant feeding stop-overs along the 2022km - "an impressive marathon swim of 2,022km," Mr Miles said.
"Scientific research is crucial in raising public awareness of the plight of endangered wildlife and World Turtle Day is a timely occasion to celebrate all the work done here in Queensland by Dr (Col) Limpus and his team of researchers and volunteers," Dr Miles said.
Dr Limpus is the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's chief scientist and the head of the Queensland Turtle Research Program.
The QTRP is a year-round endeavour, with important findings emerging long after the last turtles have left Mon Repos each nesting season, which runs from November to March.