Baby turtles found near Lake Joondalup, on Two Rocks Beach

This baby turtle, missing a flipper, was found at Two Rocks. Picture: Neptunes Photography
This baby turtle, missing a flipper, was found at Two Rocks. Picture: Neptunes Photography

BABY turtles – one smaller than a car key, the other missing a flipper – have been spotted near Lake Joondalup and on Two Rocks beach recently.

Advice from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) varies depending on the species and location of turtles, with people asked to keep an eye out for the tiny creatures.

Regional wildlife officer Cameron Craigie said if people spotted loggerhead sea turtles washed up on beaches, they should call the Wildcare helpline immediately.

Mr Craigie said sea turtle nesting areas were far north, so any that washed up on metropolitan beaches were usually sick or injured.

“These are animals that come ashore because of health issues – we need to know about them straight away,” he said.

“At this time of year, the tropical current gains momentum; a lot of these turtles up in northern areas get caught in the current (and) pushed farther south.”

Mr Craigie said the turtles would not eat as much and their immune systems would weaken, making them more vulnerable to predators.

Chris Kowalski found this baby long-necked turtle, smaller than a car key, near Lake Joondalup. Instagram: @chrisk060

He said a loggerhead turtle found in Seabird recently was now in care at Perth Zoo as it was missing a flipper, and any sea turtles found on Perth beaches would go to the zoo for treatment and rehabilitation.

“If they are missing a flipper, they can survive in the wild (and) we will still release them,” he said.

However, when it comes to freshwater turtles, the DBCA’s advice is to leave the creatures alone, unless they are sick or injured or their path is obstructed by a manmade obstacle.

Mr Craigie said freshwater turtles laid eggs away from water sources before winter to ensure babies did not drown.

“The parents have placed the eggs to let them walk back to a water source,” he said.

“If there are any manmade obstacles, like a curb, then we can assist a little bit.”

Joondalup resident Chris Kowalski often sees adult long-necked turtles around the Lake Joondalup jetty, but last month he spotted a baby instead.

“I nearly walked on this cute little baby turtle on the path at Yellagonga reserve,” he said.

“You can see how small he is compared to the car key.”

Keen videographer Lee Jessamine (15) filmed a baby sea turtle found washed up on beach in Two Rocks last Saturday.

“We believe the turtle is a very endangered loggerhead sea turtle that has made its way all the way down from Shark Bay breeding areas to feed on blue bottle jellyfish,” he said.

“During its travels the turtle unfortunately lost a limb and could not withstand the currents and waves from the storm over the weekend and was washed up to the beach.

“We helped the turtle to safety from the dangerous dog beach into the calmer waters of the nearby marina.”

The Two Rocks teenager published a video of the rescue on his Facebook page, Neptunes Photography.

Mr Craigie encouraged people to look out for baby turtles on beaches and report them.

“These turtles are very small; they can often get caught up in seaweed,” he said.

“We’ve had quite a few in the past couple of days – especially straight after a storm, they can wash up.”

To report sick or injured wildlife, call the Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055.