Council program protects endangered Mary River ‘Punk Rocker’ Turtle

Published: Comments:
Animals Wildlife or Pets Conservation Energy & Water Environment Sunshine Coast Council

Social:   
Mary River Turtle

The Sunshine Coast community is passionate about turtles, but many people may not know about the Mary River Turtle – an endangered species found nowhere else in the world but the Mary River catchment.

Often referred to as the punk rocker turtle, thanks to the mohawks of moss that sprout from its head, the Mary River Turtle can be found as far north as Mary River tidal barrage near Tiaro and as far south as Cambroon.

The turtle is extremely vulnerable to introduced predators, such as wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs and feral cats, which prey on the turtles and their eggs.

Sunshine Coast Council, in partnership with Tiaro and District Landcare Group, has now implemented a program designed to protect this special creature from predation by feral animal species.

Starting this month, council will be working with 22 participating landholders along the Mary River in a joint effort to protect the turtle by controlling feral animals.

Division 10 Councillor Greg Rogerson said the Mary River Turtle Protection Program had been implemented in response to community concerns.

"In 2018 the Mary River Turtle was assessed as the 29th most endangered reptile in the world and it's our job do to everything we can to protect it," Cr Rogerson said.

"The single biggest threat to this turtle's chances of survival is the predation on nesting sites by the feral animals, particularly foxes.

"We are working in partnership with Fraser Coast Council, Gympie Council, Noosa Council, Tiaro and District Landcare Group and participating landholders along the Mary River in a joint effort to protect our punk rocker turtle."

Within the Sunshine Coast region, the program is taking place on private land from Belli Park to Conondale.

Tiaro and District Landcare Group Project Leader, Marilyn Connell said programs such as these were critical to the survival of the Mary River Turtle.

"Since the 1970s, the population of nesting females at Tiaro has plummeted by 95% so it's fantastic that Sunshine Coast Council have now implemented this program," Ms Connell said.

"We successfully protected 178 hatchlings this season in the Tiaro region and there are still more to come.

"The efforts of Sunshine Coast Council are really encouraging and together we can make a difference and help save this species from disappearing."

The program involves reducing feral animal numbers, fencing the nesting banks to reduce cattle trampling and protecting the individual nests from predation.

As with any feral animal control program, areas involved in the program are clearly identified by warning signs placed at property entrances.

You can find out more about the project on the Tiaro Landcare Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MaryRiverTurtleProjectTiaroLandcare/

If you would like to participate in protecting our wildlife, please contact council on 07 5475 7272.

Found only in the Mary River, the Mary River turtle is listed as endangered under the Queensland Government Nature Conservation Act and the Commonwealth Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

The Mary River Turtle is listed as the 29th most endangered reptile species on the plant by the Zoological Society of London EDGE program (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered).

In December 2018, a group of respected international turtle scientists who were concerned about its survival recommended that the Mary River Turtle be up-listed to Critically Endangered.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has just published a provisional recommendation that the Mary River Turtle be up-listed from Endangered to Critically Endangered.


(l-r) Sunshine Coast Council Feral Animal Officer Ben Field, Tiaro and District Landcare Group Project Leader Marilyn Connell, Travis the Mary River Turtle with Martin Fingland from Geckoes Wildlife and Councillor Greg Rogerson.

 
Sunshine Coast Regional Council :
Locked Bag 72 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560, Sunshine Coast Wide
07 5475 7272
1300 007 272
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Just in time for Easter, little reds fly away home 18 April 2019 | The little red flying-foxes which called the Sunshine Coast home for the past three months have flown home for winter. More information...
Council to tap into the enthusiasm of our region's youth 18 April 2019 | Sixteen young people with inspirational qualities have been selected to be a voice for young people through Sunshine Coast Council's Speak Up Engage program. More information...
Wiggle Fun Tour on Sale Now at Venue 114 17 April 2019 | The Wiggles are coming to the Sunshine Coast as part of their Wiggle Fun Tour on Friday 17 May at Venue 114 at Lake Kawana. More information...
Live radio play to bring Bankfoot House to life 16 April 2019 | If you fondly remember a time when the family would gather around the sofa or dining table and tune into the wireless for the latest news or entertainment, Bankfoot House and Anywhere Festival have an incredible... More information...
Native wildlife species under threat from the fox 15 April 2019 | Local organisations are again joining forces in an effort to protect our healthy, smart, creative region by controlling foxes and assisting the survival of native species in coastal bushland areas from Mudjimba to... More information...
We're solar savvy on the Sunshine Coast 12 April 2019 | The Sunshine Coast has one of the largest rooftop solar uptakes of any local government area in Australia, with 41% of dwellings choosing to harness the sun and last week Caloundra was named one of the top five... More information...
Renowned Paralympic swimmer set to challenge misconceptions 12 April 2019 | Karni Liddell is one of Australia's most successful, well-respected and highly awarded Paralympic swimmers of our time and will be the keynote speaker for the second In Conversation lunch Disability Versus Abil... More information...
Dress-up after dark at 5th Annual Australasian Bat Night 12 April 2019 | Bring out your bat wings, night vision goggles and join Frankie the flying-fox, our beautiful batty mascot, for an evening of environmental education and entertainment up at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. More information...
Craft is alive at Caloundra Indoor Stadium 11 April 2019 | Bring out your creative side and learn from world class specialists this April when Craft Alive comes to the Sunshine Coast for the first time. More information...
Parking in Caloundra is set to get easier 11 April 2019 | Parking meters in downtown Caloundra are being upgraded to allow tap-and-go payment. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service