Marine Animals

Loggerhead turtle - Caretta caretta 

Endangered in NSW and Nationally

Loggerhead turtles are highly migratory. They can be found in subtropical and temperate waters from the Mediterranean Sea all the way down to the waters of the Australian coastline. They can be distinguished by their large heads and powerful jaws. They feed on fish, crustaceans, and other marine animals, using the force of their jaws to crush their prey.

Females don’t reach reproductive maturity until they are over 30. When they are ready to lay their eggs, they return to the same beach where they were born. This occurs typically in the warmer months, with the female laying, on average, four clutches of about 100 to 120 eggs. The sex of the hatchling is determined by incubation temperature - the warmer the sand is, the more likely they are to be females. Due to climatic changes, there has been an impact on sex ratios, with more females hatching.

Hatchlings face the risky crawl from their nest to the ocean. Predation is a key concern, but disturbance from artificial light can lead to disorientation of the hatchlings. Tire ruts from vehicles can also impede their path to the water and result in an unsuccessful journey. Overall threats to this species include light pollution, fisheries bycatch, entanglement in marine debris, predation of hatchlings, and changes to habitat (dunes and beaches).

How can you help?

  • Give turtles lots of space to emerge from or move towards the ocean
  • Remember to dispose of your rubbish, so it does not enter the sea
  • If you live near the beach, keep control of your cats and dogs, so they do not eat turtle eggs
  • Decrease your boat speed in estuaries and shallow inshore areas
  • Turtles are sensitive to light pollution – if you live in a coastal community, turn off non-essential lights to reduce disturbance from artificial light.

For more information on monitoring programs visit: 

Related Pages

Threatened Species

There are 151 fauna species found in Ballina Shire that are classified as threatened under State and Commonwealth legislation.


Learn more about threatened bird species in Ballina Shire


Learn more about threatened mammals in Ballina Shire


Learn more about threatened amphibians in Ballina Shire

Connect with us

Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

View more contacts

40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


Opening Hours

8:15am - 4:30pm

Monday to Friday