The Department of Environment and Science (DES) has received more than 450 reports of marine animals being either sick, injured, stranded or deceased in Queensland this year prompting DES to remind the public to call the DES Hotline 1300 130 372.
Senior Wildlife Officer Liz Vang said the majority of reports to DES involved turtles due to either poor health, predators or boat strikes.
“So far, DES has received 345 reports of turtles being either sick, injured, stranded or deceased,” Ms Vang said.
“We’ve also seen 59 reports about whales, 24 reports regarding dugongs, 24 for dolphins, two for sea snakes, and one seal.
“These reports from the public enable an incident response to be logged and action to be taken as necessary.
“Community assistance is critical for a rapid response when finding injured, stranded or dead marine wildlife.
“However, members of the public should not try to help a distressed animal which has become stranded, beached or is in need of assistance in or out of the water.
“The best thing you can do is take an accurate note of the location and immediately call the DES hotline on 1300 130 372.
“Estimate the size of the animal by comparing it to the size of a common object. This helps identify the number of people required to undertake a rescue if needed.
“Photos are really important – photos are used to identify the species, size, type of damage and identifying features or research tag with a serial number.
“The public must keep safe by keeping a distance and not moving or removing the animal without contacting the department.
“If the animal is in the water, do not jump in and try and save it – there are trained experts to do this and it can be dangerous with sharks nearby.
“In the event an animal is on the beach, do not try and push it back into the water. Call DES Hotline on 1300 130 372.”