By Joanne Shoebridge and Samantha Turnbull
A small but precious number of turtle nests are due to hatch on the New South Wales north coast this summer.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) spokesman Lawrence Orel says there could be fewer than a dozen nests primarily on the Tweed coast but they will be a crucial addition to the population of the species.
"At the moment we're fairly confident there are some little packets of surprises in the sand at Tweed, which is the area we would expect most turtle nesting attempts in NSW to occur," he says.
Mr Orel is calling upon the public to notify the NPWS immediately if they come across what could be a turtle nest.
"Throughout the history of humanity we've... had some very direct impacts on them and then there's loss of habitat and impact of other things, like some turtles get caught in fishing nets, pollution and plastic is a big issue for turtles," he says.
"They go through such a challenging life to be able to breed, it's really important that all nests in NSW are monitored as much as possible and assisted as much as possible to hatch successfully."
Mr Orel is also urging north coast residents to keep control of their dogs on beaches and to drive in designated areas away from dunes.
There are four species of turtle found in NSW: the leatherback turtle, the green turtle, the loggerhead turtle and the hawksbill turtle.
The loggerhead is the most common nesting turtle on NSW beaches.
A nest may contain 80-100 hatchlings.