The first known turtle nesting of the season has been logged on the NSW mid-north coast, with a rare sea turtle coming to shore to lay its eggs.
An endangered Loggerhead Turtle ventured onto land to lay 139 eggs, but there were fears about king tides washing them out to sea before they were ready to hatch, Environment Minister Penny Sharpe said on Monday.
The turtles are endangered in NSW and in the last 10 years, just 19 have been recorded laying eggs on state beaches during the December to March nesting season.
Wildlife crews have now moved the nest to new site outside the king tide mark in a bid to save the eggs.
“The decision to move the nest to save it from forecast king tides demonstrates the commitment of volunteers and staff from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to giving this endangered species the best possible chance of survival," MS Sharpe said in a statement.
Volunteers and NPWS staff will now monitor the site to protect the eggs from predators and disturbance until the hatchlings emerge at the end of summer.
“As an endangered species, every single egg is precious and represents hope for this species," MS Sharpe said.
Turtles are vulnerable to attacks from pigs and foxes, disturbance of nesting sites by humans as well as commercial fishing.