In this July 25, 2010 photograph released by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies for editorial purposes, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle swims at the Center for Marine Education and Research in Gulfport, Miss., during its rehabilitation at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. This sea turtle was known as L-0039.
In this July 25, 2010 photograph released by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies for editorial purposes, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle swims at the Center for Marine Education and Research in Gulfport, Miss., during its rehabilitation at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. This sea turtle was known as L-0039. AP Photo - Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

Deadline looms for groups fighting turtle vs feral pig war

LOCAL environmental groups have a month to apply for funding to help protect marine turtles from the damage of feral pigs up and down Queensland's coastline.

The $7 million joint state and federal funding was opened for applications on Sunday, as part of wider efforts to reduce the impact of feral pigs and other predators on threatened turtles.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the funding could go to "control measures", including aerial and ground pig shooting, baiting, and nest protection devices at key areas.

"Destruction of turtle nests, eggs and newly hatched baby turtles by feral pigs and other predators are the main threats to turtle populations along the Queensland coast," he said.

"In some areas up to 90% of turtle nests are lost to predation by feral pigs."

Two turtle species will be the focus of the first round of funding under the program, the Cape York populations of the endangered olive ridley turtle, and southern populations of the threatened flatback turtle.

Queensland National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said the first round of funding would be open for applications until October 6, with a second round from November this year.

He said he was also keen to hear of "innovative, scientific and technical" ideas to help address feral pigs and its impact on Queensland's turtles. - APN NEWSDESK



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