Your chance to contribute to turtle conservation in Australia

I was recently contacted by biologist Mike Thompson who is part of a consortium of scientists managing an extensive program of study into the biology and conservation of Australian freshwater turtles. As a result of significant decline in long-necked turtles in the Murray River region, Mike and the team have launched an app, TurtleSAT (Turtle Survey and Analysis Tool), where researchers and citizen scientists alike can record turtle and nest sightings in order to gain a better picture of where in the landscape these creatures are persisting and how their populations are faring in different parts of the country.

We’ve heard from Lachie in his article this month how turtles need our help, and the importance of our wetland restoration activities. But collection of data on their distribution and abundance is also crucial to inform our understanding of their management and conservation.

Already more than 9,500 entries have been made – an impressive number to be sure, but not too many of these come from our region. NGT staff will be making an effort to log turtle sightings via TurtleSAT from now on, and are hoping you will too. The app seems straightforward and easy to use; step-by-step instructions with pictures can be found in this PDF download.

The research team has already been busy analysing the data and publishing findings (including this study that found that rain and time of year affect the likelihood of eastern long-necked turtles being killed on roads) – so your observations will be used to help with real-world conservation recommendations.

For more information, please visit today!

Eastern Long-necked Turtle. Photo by Todd Burger
Mark Bachmann