Flatback Turtles Breeding Season (October-March)


The Port Hedland Flatback turtle season starts in October, and finishes in March. This means our beaches become very active with turtle nests during this time. It is critical that people remember to do the right thing during this season, as Flatback turtles are an endangered species and native to our area. Please be extra vigilant and take extra care when visiting the beaches between these months. 

When is turtle nesting and turtle hatchling season? 

October to March

What can I do to protect turtles?

1.  Put your dog/s on a leash when visiting the beaches during turtle season (October - March)

    • While we trust that your dog is friendly and has great recall, dogs can pose a significant threat to laying turtles, nests and hatching eggs.
    • All dogs must be on a leash at all times when on the beaches.
    • If you're wanting to have your dog off-lead, there are specific Town approved areas such as: Marie Marland Reserve off leash area, McGregor Street Reserve off leash area and the Spoilbank off leash area.
    • If you are caught without your dog on a lead during turtle season, the Town can issue a fine.

    2.  Do not drive on the beaches during turtle season

    • Please do not drive on the beaches during turtle season - this includes quad bikes.
    • Illegal use of cars and off road vehicles on nesting beaches destroys turtle nests killing the eggs.
    • Only 1 in 1000 turtle eggs survive to maturity, so it's critical we give them the best chance they have to live.
    • If you are caught driving on the beaches, the Town will take action against you - including the impounding of your vehicles, significant fines or prosecution.

    3.  No bright lights or flash photography after dark

    • You may have noticed Hedland Hotel and the footpath along the coastal area has very dim lighting. This is to reduce negative impacts that lighting can have on the flatback turtles.
    • The dim lighting is to assist with the natural nesting and hatching process for the flatback turtles who are very sensitive to lights.
    • We ask if you can please do the same - refrain from any flash photography and bright lights.

    4.  Stop, drop, act like a rock

    • If you see a turtle, please let it be! 
    • All marine turtles (including flatbacks) are protected, so never approach a nesting turtle or disturb the nest if you are lucky enough to see one.

    We all have a responsibility to protect this important breeding ground for the turtles and their hatchlings.

    If you have any questions or need to report someone doing the wrong thing, please contact the Town on 08 9158 9300

    For more information on Flatback turtles and how you can get involved, please visit Care for Hedland Environmental Association