Bell's turtle release delights children, adults alike

Discussion in 'Reptile News' started by Flaviemys purvisi, May 4, 2019.

  1. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    1,524
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QLD
    ndmasthead-main (1).png
    By Carolyn Millet.
    May 3rd, 2019

    r0_0_5152_3864_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    RIVERBANK FUN: Kingstown Public School students check out an adult turtle during the release morning.


    ANOTHER lucky bunch of eco guardians released another horde of baby Bell's turtles into the Macdonald River at Retreat yesterday.

    Kingstown Public School and local TAFE NSW students were among those who joined University of New England (UNE), Local Land Services (LLS) and other collaborators on the mission, putting dozens of the endangered hatchlings into the river.

    And that was a keenly sought-after and valued privilege, according to some of the groups involved.

    When the participating Tamworth Urban Landcare Group circulated an email, inviting contacts to take part in the release, there was a "very quick response", president Paul Moxon said.

    "We have about 15 people, and we were only looking for 12," he told the Leader ahead of yesterday morning's release. "Now I'm madly trying to organise a mini-bus."

    And 11 students from the local public school "each released one or two of the little hatchlings, so that was really awesome for them", principal Sharon Ryan said.

    "It was absolutely wonderful to go there and be connecting to community, sustainability and the environment; it was a wonderful opportunity."

    Turtles forever
    The staggered releases are part of a project being conducted by UNE environmental science researcher Louise Streeting.

    With eggs from 95 per cent of the short-necked turtles' nests being eaten by foxes, Ms Streeting is investigating strategies to rebuild juveniles' numbers in the wild.
    r0_0_5472_3648_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_1757_2217_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_1523_2315_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_4195_3648_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_5152_3864_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_3369_2313_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_3968_2778_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_3840_2779_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_2902_3384_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_2603_3691_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_2879_3480_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_1365_2048_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
    r0_0_4849_3648_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

    One is to incubate, hatch and rear the saw-shelled turtles in the lab, before releasing them back into the environment in which their mother was caught.

    The other is to use detection dogs to find nests in the wild, and cover those with wire mesh.

    That is sized, firstly, to keep foxes out and then to allow the turtles to make their way to the river after they've hatched.

    The release took place on the property of Mel Woods and Michael Rizzi, and their children Jake and Sam.

    Northern Tablelands LLS Bell's turtle project manager Martin Dillon said the work could not happen without support from such local farmers, who receive funding support to protect and restore habitat, and undertake year-round fox control.

    "We will be selecting more sites next spring, and interested landholders are encouraged to contact [LLS]," he said.
     
    dragonlover1 likes this.

Share This Page