Talkin' Turtles

An educational experience showcasing the eastern long-necked turtle.

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Talkin' Turtles

An educational experience showcasing the eastern long-necked turtle.

The issue

The Eastern Long-necked Turtle, a newly appointed mascot for the Parramatta River, is very active throughout November and December - but this is also a dangerous time for turtles as they leave the safety of the river to nest.

The solution

The Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) in conjunction with City of Ryde and the Ryde Hunters Hill Flora and Fauna Protection Society joined forces for a free Our Living River event “Talkin’ Turtles” at the Field of Mars.

We asked the turtle experts from Western Sydney University to come and help us understand turtle behaviour and showcase TurtleSat, a smartphone app that allows the public to help us map where the turtles are.

We also outlined how the Riverkeeper network campaigns around the eastern long necked turtle can help the PRCG in it's mission to make the Parramatta River swimmable.

The impact

Over 100 people came together to learn about turtles and how the general public can help increase their population.

We went on a turtle hunt and learnt how to recognise turtle (and water dragon) nests.

We now understand what is required to create an area attractive for turtles to nest in and we will be able to use this knowledge across the catchment.



Learnings

Talkin' turtles proved the Riverkeeper network concept by empowering and supporting individuals to take ownership of land management in the catchment, reinvigorating existing community groups with exposure to new individuals, the power of networking and enhancing capacity of the PRCG.

Images

 

Key facts

  • If you find a turtle on the road, you should (safely) carry them to the side of the road in the direction they are heading.
  • Turtles will lay eggs, and eggs will hatch after big rainfall events. So if you have an elevated clear area near a creek or river, keep your eyes out after storms.
  • You only need one fox to devastate multiple turtle nests in a short period of time.

Project Partners