WATCH: Cars causing damage to turtle tracks at Lilleys Beach
BOYNE Island could see dozens of turtle hatchlings join an emergent marine population in January next year if dunes remain untouched by vehicles.
Over the next two weeks Conservation Volunteers Australia's Caring for Curtis project is welcoming volunteers to assist with turtle tracking and dune care at Lilley's beach on Boyne Island.
Conservation Volunteer Australia project coordinator Jodi Jones said the organistion had discovered nests in vehicle tracks.
"One of the largest concerns we have are the number of vehicle intrusions through the dunes," Ms Jones said.
"In the 8km of Lilley's beach there are about 51 vehicle intrusions and at any given time during this period there can be up to ten nesting sites in this area where the flat back turtles use the dunes to lay their eggs," she said.
Ms Jones said over the last three weeks there have been a number of local Flatback turtles.
Conservation Volunteer Australia safety coordinator Iris Cosgrove said there are signs at the beaches and on the camp grounds to let people know there are nesting turtles and shore birds that have migrated.
"When you're driving along beaches is generally a good rule to drive two hours either side of the low tide mark that way there's no chance you intrude on the dunes." She said.
The organisation has seen more than 509 kilograms of rubbished collected in a day on one of their dune care excursions.
Ms Jones said it's hard to know how many turtles are in the area with little research done.
"We don't know a lot about the population because it hasn't been one of the big areas that have been set for study unlike Peak Island which has had lots of scientists studying the turtles there," Ms Jones said.
"Lilley's beach is an outlying areas which is a little smaller but has an equally important turtle habitat." She said.
Ms Jones said her project also aims to document for the first time nesting sites along the beach line.
"From turtle tracking we've got some great information and great ideas about our hatchlings which will be emerging in January," Ms Jones said.
"We've also been documenting the impacts that we've seen in and around and adjacent to the turtle nesting sites." she said.