It was delightful experience observing the next generation of young students at Mary Valley College teaching students from Kandanga Primary School about the endangered Mary River turtle. They each gave a little talk they had memorised. Then craft time, making turtles from paper plates. Great fun and very effective way of teaching. Well done Mary Valley College and teacher, Ms Zela Bissett.
MR T made a very good first impression on Penny Hall, CEO Burnett Mary Regional Group, Brad Wedlock & Steve Burgess from Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee. MR T is on public display at his temporary home at the Tiaro Library, Forgan Tce, Tiaro.
All wild clutches protected during 2012/13 nesting season successfully hatched prior to the major floods experienced in the Mary River, south east Queensland in January & February 2013. Tiaro Landcare members protected nests where they were laid. Minimal human
interference allows the turtles to continue their lifecycle as they have done for millenia. Without protection of nests, the majority of eggs would be predated, putting the survival of this species at risk.
Our volunteers have been enjoying spending time by the river observing and recording behaviour of basking turtles in the Mary. Krefft’s turtle, white throated snapping turtle and Mary River turtle all bask together on the same rock or log. Yesterday we observed a female Mary River turtle basking on top of the shell of a larger female white throated snapping turtle. The white throated appeared quite unperturbed. The Mary River turtle could not maintain her balance once the white throated turtle started to walk along the log.
In the third episode of Two on the Great Divide, emminent Australian scientist Dr Tim Flannery and his friend, comedian John Doyle visited the Mary River and came face to face with the remarkable Mary River turtle and Australian lungfish. Tim is fascinated by the river and the survival of two ancient creatures. Tiaro Landcare was honored to host the film crew and play a role in the production of this documentary which is now available through ABC shops.
Just when we think it can’t rain any more we get another 24hours of rain!! However we haven’t had a major flood yet this season in the main trunk of the Mary River just numerous moderate floods. Such events have attracted much media interest about the impact on the turtles. We are waiting, along with UQ researchers to download data from the hydrophones to find out what has happened to the 12 tagged turtles.
Enthusiastic volunteers from Kenilworth, many kilometres upstream of Tiaro, have helped with finding and protecting nests in the mid catchment. Sunshine Coast Regional Council have fenced a bank to prevent 4WD driving over nests of the endangered Mary River turtle, plus installed informative signage.
This species continues to be unpredictable.A new clutch was found on Thursday morning 19th January….most seasons laying is finished by the end of December. Many of the first clutches laid this season have already hatched.
Today, we protected another 2 clutches of eggs laid by Mary River turtles last evening. Those laid at the beginning of the season have already hatched!!