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Marine wildlife strandings

Loggerhead turtle

In recent year following major floods, dugong and turtles in some areas have struggled to find food and have been suffering from malnutrition. This is because seagrass—their major food source—have become stressed by repeated periods of murky water and low salinity due to flooding in the coastal catchments.

The reduction of seagrass (over 80 per cent decline in some locations) has contributed to turtles becoming sluggish and having reduced breath-holding capacity, which means turtles are spending more time at the surface and travelling further distances in search of food, increasing the likelihood of boat strikes.

Marine animals in poor health are also less able to fight diseases, strong ocean currents or to escape entanglement in fishing gear.

To report marine animal strandings* call the RSPCA Qld on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625). A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) officer in the relevant region will be contacted with your information and will determine the appropriate response. QPWS will not be able to attend to all reported cases.

*marine animal strandings of sick, injured or dead turtles, dolphin, dugongs or whales

The person taking your call will require the following information:

  • location (GPS coordinates if possible)
  • a description of what is wrong with the animal (e.g. stranded on beach, injuries, entangled in a net, injured)
  • a description of the animal (type of animal—dugong, turtle, whale, dolphin; condition; size and any identifying tags)
  • photos (if available)
  • your contact details.

Become a strandings response volunteer — complete our free online training package which enables local community volunteers to respond to marine wildlife strandings.

The training package includes eight modules that can be done at the user's own pace. It is comprised of interactive presentations that include videos, audio, graphics and reading, across a series of learning modules.

Email to request access to the training.

Data and reports

Latest information

Last updated
9 September 2016