By Nathalie Fernbach
The sea turtle foundation is reminding people to keep their distance if they come across a nesting turtle this summer.
A flatback turtle was spotted digging on Townsville's Strand Beach last night within a few metres of the concrete walking path and one of the bars.
The foundation's Julie Traweek says the young turtle didn't get around to laying eggs but may return to do so.
"Usually when they are maybe a bit more experienced the older turtles will try to find a place that is much quieter and darker, I was really kind of surprised that she had picked that spot and that may have been a factor in why she decided not to lay eggs there because there is a lot of light" she said.
The turtle nesting season usually runs from late October until mid-January, this year is a low nesting season for green turtles so most of the animals we will see on northern beaches will be flatbacks says Ms Traweek.
"If you do see a turtle just try to stay really still, try to stay quiet and if you have a torch or a flash on your camera or your phone try not to use that because they are really sensitive to light" she said.
Mr Traweek says flatback turtles are more inclined to bite than other species and recommends giving the animals ten to fifteen metres space.
When nests are created in areas of high traffic rangers may move the eggs or put a protective net around the nest.
If you see a turtle nesting on northern beaches call 1300 ANIMAL and inform rangers of the location.