Campaign to save turtles
THE Douglas Local Marine Advisory Committee is launching a campaign to promote the RSPCA’s 1300-ANIMAL hotline for sick and injured marine life.
Committee chair Robert Hanan said Douglas beaches had become a stranding hotspot in recent years, and locals and visitors were often unsure who to contact when they found an injured or stranded turtle.
‘‘ There has been an alarming increase in the number of sick or injured marine turtles washing up on our beaches ever since Cyclone Yasi hit Far North Queensland over two years ago,’’ Mr Hanan said.
‘‘Unfortunately we are still seeing higher than usual numbers. There have been 14 strandings reported in the past year. Wonga Beach and Four Mile Beach appear to be particular hotspots.
‘‘Many locals and visitors are confused about who they should call, especially when it’s outside normal office hours.
‘‘Over the coming weeks we’ll be promoting the RSPCA’s hotline with a sticker on beach signs and community noticeboards.’’
The 1300-ANIMAL hotline is open 24 hours a day and is the primary number to call to report sick or injured animals, including marine turtles.
The RSPCA call centre then contacts local volunteers, rangers or the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre to respond, depending upon the circumstances.
Mr Hanan said the Cairns Regional Council had been very supportive and were allowing the stickers to be placed on stinger bottle containers at beaches.
He encouraged community groups and beachside residents interested in helping to spread the 1300-ANIMAL message to contact him on 4098 8280 for a supply of stickers.
The committee would also promote the 1300- ANIMAL hotline at visitor centres, tackle shops and tourist accommodation.
The stickers are an initiative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Local Marine Advisory Committ ees and were produced with assistance from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the RSPCA.
Info: Robert Hanan 4098 8280.
STOP THE STRANDING: Robert Hanan with 1300 Animal stickers