Watch out for common freshwater turtles on the road

Article from Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE)

Spring and early summer is the traditional start of the breeding season for two of our common freshwater turtle species. When the turtles begin to move about, they become particularly vulnerable to being hit by cars, so DSE is reminding motorists travelling through regional Victoria to keep their eyes out for freshwater turtles.Katie Howard, an ecologist with ARI said: “Roads that run through or beside Victorian wetlands, rivers and lakes may have Common Long-necked Turtles (Chelodina longicollis) and Murray River Turtles (Emydura macquarii) crossing them during the next few weeks and DSE is asking drivers to keep an eye out.”

“The freshwater turtles will be searching for appropriate nesting sites, so this is the time they are at the greatest risk of being hit by cars,” she said. “The Common Long-necked Turtle is the most active and tends to move around the landscape more.”

“All our freshwater turtle species are protected,” Katie said: and some of these animals will be over 30 years of age. It can take some species 10 years to reach maturity, so it is important they are able to nest successfully and are not interfered with.”

“The only time we would suggest members handling one of the turtles is if it has been seriously injured and needs to be taken to an accredited wildlife carer for treatment, or if people are moving it off the road and out of harms way.”

DSE encourages the public to contact RACV Wildlife Connect on 131111 if they find injured wildlife.

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