Residents are urged to be considerate of oblong turtle hatchlings as they begin emerging from nests in the coming months.
City of Stirling manager of parks and reserves Ian Hunter said the optimal nest location was between 20 and 100 metres inland of a body of water.
‘Residents living close to wetland reserves such as Jackadder Lake Reserve may find themselves in the uniquely fortunate position of having these animals choose their yards to lay their eggs,’ Mr Hunter said.
Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Matt Swan said anyone who comes in contact with hatchlings should refrain from interfering with the turtles.
‘Through the department’s Wildcare Helpline and social media, we have been contacted by a number of concerned people who have spotted oblong hatchlings and feared they may be in danger,’ Mr Swan said.
‘However we want to let the public know it is perfectly normal for hatchlings to be searching for nearby wetlands at this time of year as they emerge from their nests.’
Mr Swan said a Parks and Wildlife officer found a six-centimetre oblong turtle hatchling in his Innaloo backyard, which was most likely headed towards Herdsman Lake last week.
‘We suspect this turtle may have been living in, or possibly rushed down, a stormwater drain and with more rain forecast, we expect more hatchlings will be washed up in backyards or on beaches,’ Mr Swan said.
Anyone who finds a turtle they believe is sick, injured or finds a nest that may be at risk should contact the City of Stirling or the Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055.