western swamp turtle

Reports and discussions on all aspects of tortoise and turtle conservation.

western swamp turtle

Postby Sue Doxat » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:47 pm

I believe these short necked turtles from Western Australia are really interesting to research if anybody has time. Females are unusually larger than the males, who reach 0.5 kgs and 155 mms. They have a square, flattened, yellow brown/ black carapace with pale broad plastron. These carnivores have short legs with 5 claws on each foot. The females dig nests with their front flippers unlike other tortoises or turtles.
Difficult to find exact figures, but were presumed extinct in 1839 until one was found by a school boy in 1953 in Perth. They are now only found in protected sites. The Ellen Brook Nature Reserve managed to breed 20 to introduce to The Twin Swamps and in 1989 570 turtles were released from Perth Zoo to other protected sites, Mogumber Nature Reserve and Moore River Nature Reserve. In Dec 2012 there was evidence of hatchlings and juveniles bred in the wild, the first evidence since 2003. Main threats to survival are climate changes, swamps and marginal habitats are drying or being drained for agriculture and predators such as the red fox. Reproduction is slow as females lay only one small clutch of eggs a year in Nov/Dec. The turtles are poorly protected by leaf litter and fallen trees when aestivating for 6 months of the year. Conservationists are currently trying to find other suitable sites for relocation of these critically endangered animals. I would be very interested to read any comments from members or anybody involved in this area of conservation.
Sue Doxat
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Re: western swamp turtle

Postby Bigjoe » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:54 pm

Hi sue very interesting topic,you may find this useful Australian freshwater turtles By John Cann,I haven't any reviews on this book nor read it so cannot comment on it.some excellent pictures of this species on line.
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Re: western swamp turtle

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:55 am

There is a lot about in Gerald's book "Reproductive Biology of the Chelonia".

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Reproductiv ... e+chelonia
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