“For the word has passed around, the rain has fallen down, and has softened up the banks of the mighty Burnett ground. From far and wide the girls will glide, along the waters edge in search of a spot to lay their mighty eggs.”
It’ s all happening now, since the rain from the weekend and over the past couple of days, has encouraged the White Throated Snapping Turtle to get out and lay some eggs. On Tuesday some very lucky staff members of the Burnett Catchment Care Association, Waterways Coordinator Rebecca Sunnerdale and contractor Peter Brightwell where able to experience first hand the nesting of the turtle.
With Duncan Limpus and his technical officer Claire, BCCA staff members tagged along and look at what they are doing to help save this threatened species of the Burnett River. This trip did not yeild any turtles but did give BCCA staff members the chance to look at a nest and also some nests that have been predated by foxes and other pests. An interesting process of watching Duncan and Claire monitor and record all data of each nest they came along. With the help from Duncan and his crew as well as from BCCA and all interested parties we can get out there and help protect nest sites and hatchlings alike.
A simple process of locating and protecting the nests with simple tools as a plastic mesh and plastic tent pegs to protect the top of the nests and deter foxes and other animals digging through the sand and eating the eggs.
Being out on the river gives you a better idea of what the turtle has to contend with and how through the help from community members and landholders, we can help this turtle remain off the extinct list. For such a large freshwater turtle little is known about them, and how we can best protect and preserve this species that is special to the Burnett, Fitzroy and Mary Catchments.
An eye opening experience to see how little is known about ‘Elseya Albagula’ and how much more we have to learn as a community about this special little girl and all her friends.
Keep your eyes open for more on this little girl as we are coming to the end of the nesting season, but don’t get to glum as the hatching season is just around the corner, and we will keep you all posted on this special event.
If anyone would like more information or would like to help this little girl and all her friends please contact Burnett Catchment Care Association for more or become a member to receieve regular updates.