Magnetic Island, QLD introduces low color temperature LEDs to protect turtles

Magnetic Island, QLD introduces low color temperature LEDs to protect turtles

Street lighting changed on Magnetic Island to help turtle hatchlings safely reach the ocean.

Townsville City Council has changed its street lighting near a turtle nesting beach to a warm-colored LED light to assist turtle hatchlings on Magnetic Island in safely reaching the ocean.

Warm-coloured LED lights have been trialed by Ergon at Mon Repos near Bundaberg, and have been a success. Townsville City Council are hoping that the same success can be replicated on the island to help their turtles get out to sea safely

Community Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars notes “locals and visitors to Magnetic Island are lucky enough to share their space with a variety of sea turtles, who use the beaches to nest.

“When newly hatched turtles emerge from the nest, they try to find their way to the sea by following the light. Hatchlings can become disoriented by artificial lights, which can lead them away from the sea.

“This is why Council has swapped a bright street light near the beach below Base Backpackers with a warm-colored LED light. Warm colors, like red, orange, and yellow are less likely to interfere with the hatchlings’ journey to the sea.

“If this trial is successful, Council will look at installing these lights at other known turtle nesting sites.”

Soars said the recent installation of colored lights at the end of Picnic Bay Jetty used similar turtle-friendly technology.

“Reducing manmade impact on natural environments is important to Council, which is why we used lights that would have very little impact on turtles and other marine life.”

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