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Flaviemys purvisi

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Hi all, it's been a while since I've been active on here but I've been busy behind the scenes working to get this ridiculous new policy that was introduced on August 22 of 2020 overturned. This letter was just yesterday sent to both the Federal ministers in the NSW and QLD Governments, the NPWS, PALM, DEHP, it was also sent to channel 2, 7 ,9, A current Affair, Stateline, Four Corners, The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Toowoomba Chronicle... It was also sent internationally to the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist group, Turtle Conservancy, Turtle Survival Alliance, Global Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society, Chelonian Research Foundation, Turtle Conservation Fund AND Conservation International.

Less than 12 hours after this letter was sent, both Myself and Marc Dorse were raided by the QLD DES. So I can assure you this is having MAXIMUM impact as the ranger who visited me said this has kicked over a hornet's nest and opened up a whole can of worms that he personally wants no part of.

If you'd like some background music while reading this letter, I suggest BACK IN BLACK by ACDC! Enjoy.
 

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Herpetology

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Shaggers89

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Hi all, it's been a while since I've been active on here but I've been busy behind the scenes working to get this ridiculous new policy that was introduced on August 22 of 2020 overturned. This letter was just yesterday sent to both the Federal ministers in the NSW and QLD Governments, the NPWS, PALM, DEHP, it was also sent to channel 2, 7 ,9, A current Affair, Stateline, Four Corners, The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Toowoomba Chronicle... It was also sent internationally to the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist group, Turtle Conservancy, Turtle Survival Alliance, Global Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society, Chelonian Research Foundation, Turtle Conservation Fund AND Conservation International.

Less than 12 hours after this letter was sent, both Myself and Marc Dorse were raided by the QLD DES. So I can assure you this is having MAXIMUM impact as the ranger who visited me said this has kicked over a hornet's nest and opened up a whole can of worms that he personally wants no part of.

If you'd like some background music while reading this letter, I suggest BACK IN BLACK by ACDC! Enjoy.
Well written I seriously look forward to what happens in the future surronding this bullshit law.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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Well written I seriously look forward to what happens in the future surronding this bullshit law.
The 2 rangers that visited Marc and I basically told us "we knew this was going to happen, that letter has created a real hornet's nest in the department". He then went on to say that "you need to read between the lines here... you will never be given a directive from the department to destroy eggs or hatchlings especially considering what you and Marc have done".... so at this point (early days) there's a lot of damage control going on at QLD DES however it still leaves the question... do I get persecuted for not abiding by a new QLD wildlife policy and for illegally breeding an endangered species or do I follow the new QLD law and instead be persecuted for knowingly destroying an IUCN RED-LISTED endangered species...
 

Shaggers89

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The 2 rangers that visited Marc and I basically told us "we knew this was going to happen, that letter has created a real hornet's nest in the department". He then went on to say that "you need to read between the lines here... you will never be given a directive from the department to destroy eggs or hatchlings especially considering what you and Marc have done".... so at this point (early days) there's a lot of damage control going on at QLD DES however it still leaves the question... do I get persecuted for not abiding by a new QLD wildlife policy and for illegally breeding an endangered species or do I follow the new QLD law and instead be persecuted for knowingly destroying an IUCN RED-LISTED endangered species...
exactly the trainwreck has only just begun.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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exactly the trainwreck has only just begun.
Yep... I have now been advised to seek damages in regards to this new policy against A. The senior policy advisor that has instructed me to freeze the eggs of an IUCN endangered species and B. The QLD DES for passing such a law claiming that M/W purvisi did not present on licence in the state of QLD when they know full well that they do. Now no matter what I do I will be doing something "illegal."
 

Sdaji

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My phone wouldn't let me open your attachment. Could have just cut and pasted it ;)

Good luck fighting the good fight anyway.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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My apologies @Sdaji - for your convenience....

9 February 2021

To the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Australian Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment and the HON. Meaghan Scanlon MP, QLD Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs. My name is Craig Latta and I have been working with and researching Australian Freshwater Turtles for over 45 years. I have given talks and presentations on conservation and husbandry of freshwater turtles in many states of Australia and helped institutions and Veterinarians all around Australia and the U.S.A with husbandry and breeding information. I have also volunteered for the QLD DEHP to assist with the QLD 'freshwater turtle project' and was employed on a freshwater turtle task to work with the QLD Government and assist with freshwater turtle data collection in Central QLD, directed by Dr. Colin Limpus. I was granted permission by Dr. Limpus to release my captive bred, Mary River turtles (Elusor macrurus) and I had the pleasure and honour of helping to increase numbers of this very unique turtle in the wild, and become the first licensed freshwater turtle private keeper in Australia to release a large number of endangered, captive bred turtles into their natural habitat in the name of conservation. I did this without any financial assistance. I was also employed for the ‘turtle catch, data collection and release’ to collect population numbers of the Mary River turtle, White-throated snapping turtle, Mary River Cod, QLD Lungfish and Platypus for the proposed Mary River Mega Dam at Traveston, QLD. If the construction had gone ahead, it would have been built right in the middle of the best nesting habitat and best hatchling habitat for the species, where large numbers of juvenile Mary River turtles were located and successful recruitment (where ageing and dying individuals are replaced by younger breeding adults) of the species was proven. I also started two not-for-profit freshwater turtle charities, AFTCRA Inc., an Australian Freshwater Turtle Conservation and Research Association and AFT, Australian Freshwater Turtles which I ran for over 17 years until an earlier childhood accident prevented me from be able to continue running them. What I am writing to you about is something that has me so perplexed and angered that I feel it is necessary to bring it to your attention! In 1999, 2005, 2007 and 2011 I spent many weeks snorkelling in the Manning River in NSW, monitoring the population of the now endangered Purvis’ Turtle/Manning River Turtle Myuchelys (AKA Wollumbinia) purvisi. In 2007 I began to notice the populations were decreasing and returned in 2011 to find none of the large populations in areas where they were once abundant. I contacted the Wingham Chronicle to raise awareness and in February 2011 the article came out. It was my hope that locals would act quickly to rally around this disappearing species. At this point in time I was living in QLD and was spending most of my time devoted to the endangered Mary River turtle. It took 5 years before the Manning River turtle was included on the IUCN Red list as an endangered species and even longer for conservation initiatives to commence, however it now appears that NSW and QLD state government wildlife authorities have gotten it all wrong! I am mostly concerned that in 2021, ridiculous, antiquated laws in QLD and NSW will be introduced that are what I regard as the worst anti-conservation laws ever concievable! Authorities in NSW and QLD will force licensed reptile keepers, that already keep M.purvisi and are successfully breeding them in captivity, from being able to continue breeding them and have told keepers that they must freeze the eggs of this endangered species! Can you imagine the public outrage once this news reaches the Australian and International media, especially when comparing it with if the same laws were to be applied to Endangered Australian Quolls or Bilbies? There is absolutely NO logic to this backwards thinking and senseless law! Perhaps if the NSW and QLD State wildlife authorities were to read a book called ‘Turtle Conservation’ Edited by Michael W. Klemens then they would understand that it is essential to allow as many reptile keepers as posible to breed this species in captivity to create a ‘safety net’ assurance colony and drop these ridiculous changes to the law! The Australian Reptile Park (ARP), Gosford NSW have been given an $850,000 Government grant as well as $120,000 in crowdfunding to breed this species in captivity. All this institution has managed to do is the harvesting from the wild and hatching of 2 wild laid clutches of M.purvisi and the removal of a gravid adult female M.purvisi from the wild and 12 months later, the ARP is still unable to produce any captive bred hatchling M.purvisi of its own. Re: The endangered Manning River turtle farcical law changes in NSW and QLD
There are currently licensed private keepers already successfully breeding this endangered species in captivity that receive absolutely no financial funding of any kind, including Marc Dorse of Toowoomba QLD, who has consecutively successfully bred clutches of M.purvisi from egg laying in 2014,and subsequent hatching in early 2015 and every year since. Kevin McKay, also of Toowoomba,QLD has successfully bred clutches of M.purvisi hatchlings with egg laying in 2015 and hatching in 2016 and every year since then.. I have spoken with both of these licensed keepers/breeders of this endangered species and both mentioned that they would gladly work with the state authorities and hand over their captive bred Purvis’ for a conservation initiative after ‘head starting’ the turtles to 1-2 years of age, which is recommended to get them past the most vulnerable stage in their lives, where over 90% fall prey to predators. This would ensure the species would remain viable for generations of people to enjoy well into the future! As World renowned freshwater turtle scientist and friend Dr. Gerald Kuchling Ph.D. who is in charge of the Western Swamp turtle breeding program in Western Australia once said to me, “If you give half of a breeding group of turtles to institutions and the other half to private keepers, it will be the private keepers who will successfully breed them”. How can any State or Federal Government department overide the protection provided to a CITES-listed Endangered species? Please, please do the right thing and abolish this absurd new law in QLD and NSW and let common sense prevail.

Kind regards, Craig Latta
 

Stromatolite

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My apologies @Sdaji - for your convenience....

9 February 2021

To the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Australian Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment and the HON. Meaghan Scanlon MP, QLD Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs. My name is Craig Latta and I have been working with and researching Australian Freshwater Turtles for over 45 years. I have given talks and presentations on conservation and husbandry of freshwater turtles in many states of Australia and helped institutions and Veterinarians all around Australia and the U.S.A with husbandry and breeding information. I have also volunteered for the QLD DEHP to assist with the QLD 'freshwater turtle project' and was employed on a freshwater turtle task to work with the QLD Government and assist with freshwater turtle data collection in Central QLD, directed by Dr. Colin Limpus. I was granted permission by Dr. Limpus to release my captive bred, Mary River turtles (Elusor macrurus) and I had the pleasure and honour of helping to increase numbers of this very unique turtle in the wild, and become the first licensed freshwater turtle private keeper in Australia to release a large number of endangered, captive bred turtles into their natural habitat in the name of conservation. I did this without any financial assistance. I was also employed for the ‘turtle catch, data collection and release’ to collect population numbers of the Mary River turtle, White-throated snapping turtle, Mary River Cod, QLD Lungfish and Platypus for the proposed Mary River Mega Dam at Traveston, QLD. If the construction had gone ahead, it would have been built right in the middle of the best nesting habitat and best hatchling habitat for the species, where large numbers of juvenile Mary River turtles were located and successful recruitment (where ageing and dying individuals are replaced by younger breeding adults) of the species was proven. I also started two not-for-profit freshwater turtle charities, AFTCRA Inc., an Australian Freshwater Turtle Conservation and Research Association and AFT, Australian Freshwater Turtles which I ran for over 17 years until an earlier childhood accident prevented me from be able to continue running them. What I am writing to you about is something that has me so perplexed and angered that I feel it is necessary to bring it to your attention! In 1999, 2005, 2007 and 2011 I spent many weeks snorkelling in the Manning River in NSW, monitoring the population of the now endangered Purvis’ Turtle/Manning River Turtle Myuchelys (AKA Wollumbinia) purvisi. In 2007 I began to notice the populations were decreasing and returned in 2011 to find none of the large populations in areas where they were once abundant. I contacted the Wingham Chronicle to raise awareness and in February 2011 the article came out. It was my hope that locals would act quickly to rally around this disappearing species. At this point in time I was living in QLD and was spending most of my time devoted to the endangered Mary River turtle. It took 5 years before the Manning River turtle was included on the IUCN Red list as an endangered species and even longer for conservation initiatives to commence, however it now appears that NSW and QLD state government wildlife authorities have gotten it all wrong! I am mostly concerned that in 2021, ridiculous, antiquated laws in QLD and NSW will be introduced that are what I regard as the worst anti-conservation laws ever concievable! Authorities in NSW and QLD will force licensed reptile keepers, that already keep M.purvisi and are successfully breeding them in captivity, from being able to continue breeding them and have told keepers that they must freeze the eggs of this endangered species! Can you imagine the public outrage once this news reaches the Australian and International media, especially when comparing it with if the same laws were to be applied to Endangered Australian Quolls or Bilbies? There is absolutely NO logic to this backwards thinking and senseless law! Perhaps if the NSW and QLD State wildlife authorities were to read a book called ‘Turtle Conservation’ Edited by Michael W. Klemens then they would understand that it is essential to allow as many reptile keepers as posible to breed this species in captivity to create a ‘safety net’ assurance colony and drop these ridiculous changes to the law! The Australian Reptile Park (ARP), Gosford NSW have been given an $850,000 Government grant as well as $120,000 in crowdfunding to breed this species in captivity. All this institution has managed to do is the harvesting from the wild and hatching of 2 wild laid clutches of M.purvisi and the removal of a gravid adult female M.purvisi from the wild and 12 months later, the ARP is still unable to produce any captive bred hatchling M.purvisi of its own. Re: The endangered Manning River turtle farcical law changes in NSW and QLD
There are currently licensed private keepers already successfully breeding this endangered species in captivity that receive absolutely no financial funding of any kind, including Marc Dorse of Toowoomba QLD, who has consecutively successfully bred clutches of M.purvisi from egg laying in 2014,and subsequent hatching in early 2015 and every year since. Kevin McKay, also of Toowoomba,QLD has successfully bred clutches of M.purvisi hatchlings with egg laying in 2015 and hatching in 2016 and every year since then.. I have spoken with both of these licensed keepers/breeders of this endangered species and both mentioned that they would gladly work with the state authorities and hand over their captive bred Purvis’ for a conservation initiative after ‘head starting’ the turtles to 1-2 years of age, which is recommended to get them past the most vulnerable stage in their lives, where over 90% fall prey to predators. This would ensure the species would remain viable for generations of people to enjoy well into the future! As World renowned freshwater turtle scientist and friend Dr. Gerald Kuchling Ph.D. who is in charge of the Western Swamp turtle breeding program in Western Australia once said to me, “If you give half of a breeding group of turtles to institutions and the other half to private keepers, it will be the private keepers who will successfully breed them”. How can any State or Federal Government department overide the protection provided to a CITES-listed Endangered species? Please, please do the right thing and abolish this absurd new law in QLD and NSW and let common sense prevail.

Kind regards, Craig Latta
Since when was it listed on CITES? Does Craig not understand what CITES was established for? His argument is a specious one.
 
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Ajar5

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Wow the government never surprises me. I really hope there's a positive outcome for the species and I take my hat off to you for all your efforts and dedication. Their proposed laws sound very illogical and unethical. What harm is and could keeping and breeding an endangered species ever going to do I ask? Good luck
 

hamishh34

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Wow the government never surprises me. I really hope there's a positive outcome for the species and I take my hat off to you for all your efforts and dedication. Their proposed laws sound very illogical and unethical. What harm is and could keeping and breeding an endangered species ever going to do I ask? Good luck
Might hurt the funding of some large and well connected institutions ;) The fact they're donated and granted very large sums of cash in last 2 years with no success and QLD keepers are having great success without any financial assistance is rubbing them the wrong way hehe.
 

Pythonguy1

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The 2 rangers that visited Marc and I basically told us "we knew this was going to happen, that letter has created a real hornet's nest in the department". He then went on to say that "you need to read between the lines here... you will never be given a directive from the department to destroy eggs or hatchlings especially considering what you and Marc have done".... so at this point (early days) there's a lot of damage control going on at QLD DES however it still leaves the question... do I get persecuted for not abiding by a new QLD wildlife policy and for illegally breeding an endangered species or do I follow the new QLD law and instead be persecuted for knowingly destroying an IUCN RED-LISTED endangered species...
What on earth justifies them telling you to knock an endangered species. I mean, HELLO! Aren't we supposed to be helping endangered species? Why on earth would we destroy them?! Whoever decided to enforce this law is evil, sick and demented! I don't mean to offend the QLD DES, no wait actually I do. What kind of person decides that it's a good idea to knock off an endangered species, particularly one as beautiful as Purvisi?
You know, this whole thing remind me of a movie scene that I watched not long ago...
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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Marc and I have been contacted by sky news and 60 minutes... I sent 3 emails to PALM and DES 2 days ago demanding answers in writing as to what I'm supposed to do with viable clutches of purvisi eggs for the next however many decades and no one is willing to stand by the policy they've introduced now, it is way too controversial, the senior policy officer for DES contacted me today and has palmed my dilemma off to QLD national parks... this is the reply I got to my question regarding what I'm legally obligated to do with purvisi eggs post 2022 under the new QLD policy...

"Hi Kevin,
Thank you for your email.

I have directed your enquiry to Wildlife Management within the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, as the regulation of native animal keeping in Queensland is delegated to that area. You will receive a response from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Kind Regards,
Caitlin"

in other words, you're completely incompetent and want to distance yourself from the **** show you've created... I better get answers before Alan Jones starts asking questions because that's the next step!
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Might hurt the funding of some large and well connected institutions ;) The fact they're donated and granted very large sums of cash in last 2 years with no success and QLD keepers are having great success without any financial assistance is rubbing them the wrong way

Might hurt the funding of some large and well connected institutions ;) The fact they're donated and granted very large sums of cash in last 2 years with no success and QLD keepers are having great success without any financial assistance is rubbing them the wrong way hehe.
Hit the nail on the head my fellow purvisi keeping friend! Yes it would be awkward fronting TV cameras and explaining how for $970,000 worth of handouts you've achieved nothing when an amateur hobbyist with a day job knocks out hatchies every year and has the current Australian record for purvisi hatch rate / survival of 96.2% and his efforts cost the Australian government and tax payers NOTHING. Money doesn't buy knowledge nor does it buy a lifetime of experience. Those clowns do not understand purvisi's ecology and it's evident in their husbandry techniques and was reflected this season just ended after Dr Ricky Spencer from Western Sydney Uni visited the ARP to see how many purvisi eggs/hatchies the project has yielded... I can imagine the look on his face when he got told 0/0. He called Marc wanting our help... Marc Dorse got 16/11 and I got 14/12 but hey wtf do we know??

So when I'm being forced to freeze purvisi eggs in the name of "conservation", at least the ARP can save face.

Pathetic.

In other news, I have added another QLD keeper to the list of those licensed and holding purvisi this afternoon at 4:30pm so the number of people legally holding them in captivity is growing.
 
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Sdaji

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I haven't always agreed with you on everything, but I admire and congratulate you in regard to what you're doing here. It's great to see your passion being put to use in opposing some idiotic rules. It's inspiring to see your determination in action. Good on you.
 

Lace_monitor

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I was at the reptile park the other day the new ponds look nice but it’s not about keeping the it’s about breeding the turtles
 

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Flaviemys purvisi

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I haven't always agreed with you on everything, but I admire and congratulate you in regard to what you're doing here. It's great to see your passion being put to use in opposing some idiotic rules. It's inspiring to see your determination in action. Good on you.
Thanks John. The most inspiring thing this week was an email from John Cann saying not to give up. There's some pretty big names in my corner so the pot is being stirred good and proper. At the end of the day if no one from the dept is prepared to stand by their policy, how do they expect it to be enforced? I started reaching out to PALM and DES in June last year... 6 months on, still no answers... I have 18 months left until I'm bound by the conditions of the new policy... and no one wants to put their hand up and answer 1 single question I've been asking... well someone is going to have to answer it because it's not going to magically go away.
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I was at the reptile park the other day the new ponds look nice but it’s not about keeping the it’s about breeding the turtles
The ARP has made several grand errors with their purvisi breeding program and 1 huge catastrophic error... neither of which I'll divulge here as I will not give them anything. They are fooling the public, harvested a few wild nests and hatched the eggs at ARP, Collected a gravid female and hatched her eggs... and with some fancy journalism made it look like they'd bred them... lol 12 months on from the harvest they've nothing to show... they should stick to what they do best... milking funnel-webs and leave the turtles alone.
 
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The main pond
 

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