Foxes have been wreaking havoc on nesting turtles on the Discovery and Coral coasts. FILE PHOTO.
Foxes have been wreaking havoc on nesting turtles on the Discovery and Coral coasts. FILE PHOTO. Contributed

Sniffer dogs help protect turtles by controlling feral pests

FOXES have been wreaking havoc on nesting turtles on the Discovery and Coral coasts, forcing the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to bring in sniffer dogs to help control the feral pests.

Ranger in charge at the Mon Repos turtle hatchery Cathy Gatley said the sniffer dog program was proving a success in helping to control the foxes on the Coral Coast.

"Our ranger Shane Jackson has been working with Elite Dog Training who have two trained sniffer dogs, springer spaniels, that can locate dens which are then fumigated," she said.

"In the area from the mouth of the Kolan River to Mon Repos and the (Bundaberg) port lands 46 dens were located and more than 30 were fumigated."

The QPWS also conduct baiting programs on the Discovery Coast and may consider a joint partnership with bodies such as councils and port authorities to bring in the sniffer dogs.

The turtle nesting season on the Discovery and Coral coasts (mainly loggerhead turtles) runs from about the start of November to the end of April.

The first nestings at Mon Repos for this season were recorded on October 28, with many more expected in the coming weeks.



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