Turtles will be the focus of the day on Saturday when World Turtle Day is shellabrated.
The reptiles worldwide are facing many threats, including predation by feral animals such as foxes, roadkill, drought, disease, and habitat destruction.
According to Bundaberg Regional Council's Environment Portfolio Spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor, World Turtle Day was a perfect opportunity for residents to find out more about the species which inhabit the region.
“We are very lucky to have many beautiful species of turtles who call our region home,” he said.
“In fact, at Alexandra Park Zoo we have our very own white throated snapping turtle Alby, who is a bit of a hit with locals!
“Alby was introduced to the zoo as part of Council's conservation efforts, including providing education around threatened and endangered species.”
Cr Honor said white throated snapping turtles were one of many species found in the Burnett River.
“This particular turtle prefers permanent flowing water habitats where there are suitable shelters and refuges,” he said.
“Most turtles lay one clutch per year of about 13 eggs with hatchlings emerging in December or January after an incubation period of around 24 weeks.
“Our Land Protection Officers undertake fox baiting near the nesting sites to reduce the impact of predation on the nesting turtles, the eggs and the hatchlings.”
You can help turtles like Alby by:
- keeping our rivers and oceans free of plastic by disposing of litter thoughtfully
- driving slower in areas with waterways adjacent to the road
- never taking turtles from the wild
- not releasing pet turtles into the wild as they could spread disease
- financially supporting or volunteering with a local turtle conservation group.
WYLD Projects commit to turtle conservation
Brad Crosbie from WYLD Projects Indigenous Corporation has a big passion for turtles which he incorporates into his conservation work with the region's youth.
“WYLD Projects, a local non for profit organisation, has successfully undertaken protection activities in the lower Burnett Region over the last few seasons through a turtle conservation collaborative partner authorisation,” he said.
“This partnership features the Department of Environment and Science, supported by Taribelang Bunda Elders Uncle Willy Broom and Uncle Tic Broome.”
Brad said the 2020 nesting season for the critically endangered white throated snapping turtle had commenced, with the first clutch of eggs placed under protection.
“The conservation efforts WYLD Projects is undertaking concentrates on traditional nesting areas,” he said.
“This features the installation of exclusion fencing to reduce cattle trampling and nest predation by feral animals and native predators, nest protection devices to protect clutches of eggs and riparian restoration.”
To help with conservation efforts of the region's turtles, Brad said the community was urged to report any turtle activity to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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