Sea turtle nests and hatchlings have been reported in NSW from the early 1900’s. Predominantly loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) turtles have been recorded to nest. In 2008 Australian Seabird & Turtle Rescue created the ‘Make Turtles Count’ program with guidance and support from WWF. With increased local interest and a potential increase in nesting numbers the program was re-developed in 2019 as NSW TurtleWatch with the support of the NSW Governments Saving Our Species Program.
The objective of NSW TurtleWatch is to promote the long-term recovery and conservation of marine turtles in NSW. The specific program goals are to:
- engage citizen scientists to monitoring beaches for nesting marine turtles,
- train and enlist volunteers to assist management agencies to protect marine turtle nests,
- increasing public awareness about sea turtles in NSW, and
- identifying potential threats, such as marine debris, climate change and light pollution.