Heroes in a half shell — Albany’s turtle hatchlings face a dangerous crossing

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Turtle power! A hatchling looks across Golf Links Drive.
Camera IconTurtle power! A hatchling looks across Golf Links Drive. Credit: Liam Croy

Life is tough for a turtle hatchling — a tiny, slow-moving creature faced with a desperate scramble to reach fresh water before it is taken by a predator.

Life is even tougher for the western long-necked turtle hatchlings of Seppings, which have to dodge traffic as they cross Golf Links Road.

The area is a turtle-nesting hotspot and the crossings are an annual event from August to October.

Adult turtles lay their eggs along the edges of Albany Golf Course and in the roadside vegetation, leaving their babies with a treacherous dash to the safety of Lake Seppings.

A turtle hatchling hitches a ride.
Camera IconA turtle hatchling hitches a ride.

With the dimensions of a 50 cent piece and the pace of a swift snail, it is a perilous journey which many do no complete.

If you are not keeping your eyes peeled for turtles on the bitumen ahead of you, they are easy to miss.

On Sunday, Golf Links Road was dotted with the bloody remains of hatchlings which never made it to the water. Some residents stopped to carry other hatchlings across the road.

The City of Albany has erected warning signs, alerting drivers to the turtle crossing and restricting speeds to 60kmh.

Across the road and bound for Lake Seppings.
Camera IconAcross the road and bound for Lake Seppings.

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