Preliminary evidence suggests freshwater turtles respond positively to an environmental water delivery during drought

  • Published source details Howard K., Beesley L., Ward K. & Stokeld D. (2017) Preliminary evidence suggests freshwater turtles respond positively to an environmental water delivery during drought. Australian Journal of Zoology, 64.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Alter water flow rates

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Alter water flow rates

    A before-and-after study in 2008 in an area of wetland and creeks along a river in south-eastern Australia (Howard et al. 2017) found that after a large flow of water was released into the system the relative abundance of eastern long-necked turtles Chelodina longicollis remained similar, and turtle body condition improved. Following the provision of a large flow of water, a similar number of turtles were caught in a refuge pool (0.02 turtles/trap/hour) compared to before (0.15 turtles/trap/hour). However, authors reported that only six turtles were caught after the water flow, whereas 44 were caught before. Turtles in the refuge pool had higher body condition after the flow than before (reported as condition index). In 2008, water flow into Barmah National Park was increased by opening regulators along a river that feeds into the wetlands and creeks of the park. This released 300 ML of water into the system. One pool was surveyed for turtles in October 2008, just prior to the water release, and again in February 2009, three months after the water release. Turtles were trapped using six fyke nets (50 mm mesh) that were set in shallow water in the early evening and retrieved the following morning. Captured turtles were measured and released.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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