May 22nd 2009
Grubs did it
They smoke Winfield Blues, drink Tooheys Extra Dry, alcho-pops, some lemonade and like to smash bottles and light fires at their beach party near the mouth of the small creek midway along Magnetic Island's Nelly Bay Beach (a well-known turtle nesting ground). They are probably locals but they are definitely grubs.
MI Rangers recently discovered this fireplace recently close to a similar fireplace we reported on last year (click here) during turtle nesting season. At that time there were concerns the heat from the fire could have cooked the eggs below.
This time it looks like the damage will mostly be in the form of glass shards that remain in the sand, which the rangers may have missed after a clean up, so a warning to barefooted beach walkers is in order.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Ranger Michael Johnson sent us photos taken at the site. According to Michael Johnson, “There must have been hundreds of glass pieces and fragments as a result of smashing bottles into the fire place. The surrounding area about three meters in circumference also had shattered glass in it.”
The mess and remains collected by Magnetic Island rangers
Michael Johnson also observed that a turtle tried to lay outside Xbase last year and as it had dug a hole it discovered a broken bottle in the sand. It laid elsewhere.
There is no evidence to suggest that this little party was connected to the full-moon parties held monthly at Xbase and, given the presence of alcho-pops bottles, a more likely scenario is that teenagers were involved.
With Nelly Bay beach suffering from increasing erosion, dogs continually off-leash and defecating, ongoing parking and opportunistic camping on top of sensitive foreshore areas, littering plus bottle smashing parties, the most accessible beach on Magnetic Island, is clearly still under threat from the species most capable of preserving and or restoring its great natural charm: humans!
To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below