Eggs-ellent outcome for World Turtle Day

It’s great news for the endangered Manning River Turtle with 20 hatching in captivity after eggs were rescued from the wild earlier this year.

Manning River helmeted turtle (Myuchelys purvisi)

Environment Minister Matt Kean said, “Who doesn’t love a baby turtle, and on World Turtle Day, it is especially exciting to see these little hatchlings.”

“What is extra special is that the Manning River Turtle is the godfather of Australian short-necked turtles and estimated to be over 55 million years old,” Mr Kean said.

“This is a living fossil and this new generation of healthy turtles will help ensure that this ancient species remains part of our rich range of wild and wonderful creatures.

“It’s quite special that this turtle lives in only one place on earth – the Manning River catchment on the NSW northern tablelands.”

The Saving our Species program is working with the Australian Reptile Park and Aussie Ark to create an insurance population to ensure the turtles thrive.

Mr Kean said the hatchlings will be grown to a size where they are unlikely to be eaten by eels or large fish and then released back into the river at the same spot where their parents were collected.

Aussie Ark President Tim Faulkner said the Manning River Turtle needs substantial clean, flowing water and so we’ve created a specialised facility at the Australian Reptile Park to enable the population to build and thrive.

“Turtles play an essential role in our ecosystem and help keep our waterways clean, not to mention being an iconic presence.”

The Saving our Species program will continue to work with Australian Reptile Park, Aussie Ark and Western Sydney University to undertake genetic research and further surveys in the hope of collecting more turtles to add to the insurance population.

For more information on the captive breeding program visit: Aussie Ark: Manning River helmeted turtle