Bell's turtle - vulnerable species listing

This species is now known as Myuchelys bellii (Gray, 1844), Bell's Turtle, Western Sawshelled Turtle

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination


The Scientific Committee, established under the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the turtle,Elseya sp. (Namoi and Gwydir Rivers), the Namoi River Elseya, as a VULNERABLE SPECIES on Schedule 2 of the Act. Listing of Vulnerable Species is provided for by Section 14 of the Act.

Any submissions received following advertisement of the Preliminary Determination have been considered by the Scientific Committee.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Elseya sp. (Namoi and Gwydir Rivers), although not formally described, is a clearly distinctive species that occurs in the headwaters of the Namoi and Gwydir Rivers and possibly also in the Macquarie Marshes.

2. The species is found in shallow to deep pools flowing through the granitic bedrock of the Namoi and Gwydir Rivers. It has been found at only half a dozen sites, and where it occurs it is reasonably abundant.

3. Elseya sp. (Namoi and Gwydir Rivers) is potentially at risk from increased runoff, siltation and pollution, where land adjacent to streams has been modified by farming activities resulting in disturbance to stream banks and associated vegetation. Changes in water quality are implicated in a high incidence of eye disease in populations of the Namoi River Elseya. The disease causes blindness. If the species is confirmed to occur in the Macquarie Marshes, altered water flow regimes would be an additional threat.

4. Given the restricted geographical range, the absence of the species from any, conservation reserves, and evidence of threats to the species in 3, above, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the species is likely to become endangered.

Dr C Dickman


Scientific Committee

Gazetted: 10/1/97

About the NSW Scientific Committee

Page last updated: 22 December 2016