Alma Bay lights switched off for turtle hatchings

Date published: 1 March 2016

Townsville City Council has turned off the spotlight at Alma Bay on Magnetic Island to allow turtle hatchlings to accurately find their way to the ocean.

The spotlight, which shines on the Alma Bay picnic area and playground, will be turned off until March 12.

Smart City Sustainable Future Committee chair Cr Vern Veitch said the bright light had the potential to confuse hatchlings.

“Members of the Geoffrey Bay and Alma Bay Coastcare brought to council’s attention that in the past bright lights had led some of the hatchlings to travel in the opposite direction to the beach, leading them on to the road instead of into the water,” Cr Veitch said.

“Queensland Parks and Wildlife have been able to monitor the nest and estimate hatching will occur between now and March 12, so council has made the decision to leave off the spotlight during this period.

“Magnetic Island is a World Heritage Area and we need to protect its wildlife.”

Street lighting on Marine Parade will be kept on for public safety.