Nature conservation

Threatened species

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Species Action Statement

This species has been assigned to the Partnership (widespread) management stream under the Saving our Species (SoS) program.

Justification for allocation to this management stream

Less than 10% of the species occurs in NSW.

Conservation status

Strategic importance

NSW has responsibilities for the protection of green turtles under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and for their joint management under the National Recovery Plan for Marine Turtles in Australia. Rising global temperatures are having negative effects on threatened marine turtles world-wide (Jensen et al. 2018). NSW may be an increasingly important nesting region for green turtles (southern Great Barrier Reef population) and may prove vital to buffer populations from the effects of increasing temperatures from climate change by increasing the ratio of male turtles in the region. Sea turtle nesting events in NSW are becoming more frequent, suggesting NSW beaches may play an increasingly important role as climate refugia. NSW beaches also offer refuge from other anthropogenic threats to marine turtles that are often associated with areas of high human population density and development (e.g. light pollution, disturbance), because nesting habitat in northern NSW coincides with relatively unpopulated parts of the east coast.

Conservation status in other Australian jurisdictions

Australian state/territoryConservation status
Northern TerritoryNear Threatened
South AustraliaVulnerable
Western AustraliaVulnerable

Management objectives

This action statement aims to secure critical populations of this species in NSW in the long-term.

Species sightings and management sites across NSW

How will this species be managed?

Key management sites for this threatened species are being identified by the Office of Environment and Heritage and other program partners, where feasible, cost-effective and beneficial to the threatened species. Currently, 2 management sites have been identified for this threatened species.

Management sites

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Site nameSite typeStatusLocal government area (LGA)
Northern NSW Priority Management SiteActive Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Richmond Valley, Tweed 
NSW coast North of Sydney Priority Management SiteProposed Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Central Coast, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Mid-Coast, Nambucca, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Randwick, Richmond Valley, Sutherland Shire, Tweed, Unincorporated, Waverley, Wollongong, Woollahra 

Are you or is someone you know doing conservation work for this species or in this area?

Contact us to tell us about the work. Your input will help OEH evaluate the status of threatened species and provide a broader picture of conservation work across NSW.