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Become a Turtle Tracker and save our Snake Necked Turtle

 

Photo credit: Anthony Santoro

 

In honour of Threatened Species Day, we celebrate our iconic Australian wildlife and the incredible conservation work being done to restore our environment. What better way to do this than officially announcing that Conservation Volunteers Australia have joined forces with Murdoch University and South West Group to support the Saving Our Snake Necked Turtle Project (SOSNT) in Western Australia.

 

Southwestern snake-necked turtle populations, found within wetlands across Western Australia’s southwest are facing dwindling population numbers. Research by Murdoch University’s Anthony Santoro found that across 35 metropolitan wetlands, there were practically no juvenile turtles due to a combination of factors including predation by feral animals, mortality from road strikes and the lack of suitable nesting habitat.

 

To catch a glimpse of these snake-necked turtles, find out where they like to hang.

 

Through this Saving Our Snake Necked Turtle Project, funded by Lotterywest, the project aims to upskill the community to track turtles and conduct important population and predation tracking surveys across Perth and regional WA.

 

Read the SOSNT Project team’s media release Funding boost to save iconic snake-necked turtles (murdoch.edu.au).

 

A rolling turtle...Photo by Anthony Santoro

 

Conservation Volunteers Australia will be contributing to this project by:

  • Empowering the community to contribute to turtle conservation and citizen science by recording nest sightings and turtles observations through the use of the national TurtleSAT app. This will provide data to help the team at Murdoch University to determine turtle abundance and nesting hotspots, and also increase our understanding of their overall distribution and status.
  • Creating a dedicated team of ‘Turtle Trackers’ at Forrestdale Lake. Workshops and training sessions will be provided by Murdoch University Turtle ecologist Anthony Santoro and his team, teaching these passionate community volunteers how to find and monitor turtles and nesting identified hotspots and how to protect these nests from predators.

 

SOSNT Project outcomes:

  • Determine the current distribution and status of the Southwestern Snake-necked turtle oblonga populations throughout the southwest of Western Australia
  • Enhance community connection and understanding of wetlands and rivers through empowering the community to participate in a real-world citizen science program where conservation efforts directly protect nesting turtles and populations
  • Through expanding the TurtleSAT app users, ongoing assessment of turtle populations and nesting hotspots will occur
  • Elevate wetlands as significant environmental sites requiring conservation
  • Help prevent further declines in the Southwestern Snake-necked turtle populations
  • Provide a sense of belonging and empowerment for communities through getting out into nature with like-minded people

 

If you want to get involved, all you need to do is head to TurtleSAT – Turtle Survey and Analysis Tool, download the app, and/or attend a Turtle Tracker training session in Perth.

 

 

Become a Turtle Tracker

 

 

How to hold a turtle: Photo by Vicky Hartill

 

A huge thanks goes out to all partner organisations involved in this fantastic program, including the South West Group, NatureLink Perth, Lotterywest, Murdoch University Harry Butler Institute, Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions Parks and Wildlife, 1 Million Turtles, WA Wildlife and the 15 local councils involved. We are so excited to be a part of it.

 

 

 

save our snake necked turtle

 

 

#SaveATurtle #CitizenScience #ActionForNature #BioDiversity

 

 

 

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