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.
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.
Researchers from the University of Queensland are conducting a tracking program of Mary River turtles. An adult female has been recorded at 7.4m ..this means she is hanging around on the bed of the river …..no wonder they are hard to find in the river..How long will she stay there? What food is there? Many questions to answer.
The Mary River is in flood. This week we’ve been observing many turtles (Kreffts, white-throated, saw-shelled and Mary River turtles) in gullies which only carry water during floods or heavy storms and in backwaters of the river where the flow is minimal. A valuable refuge for freshwater turtles.