Since 2018 FNPW has been working closely with Ricky Spencer from Western Sydney University to coordinate school engagement in the 1 Million Turtle Project. The community conservation program aims to release more than one million turtles throughout South-Eastern Australia each year, through the creation of protected habitats and a coordinated breeding and harvesting program.
On December 16th, FNPW hosted a webinar called 1 Million Turtles: Turtle Talk. We were joined by Ricky Spencer, and Nathan Cutter from the NSW Department of Primary Industries. The webinar covered a range of information about freshwater turtles, including different species, the threats currently facing them, and what people can do to help.
You can watch a recording of the webinar below:
THE 1 MILLION TURTLE PROJECT
The project brings together world leading researchers, industry conservation agencies and community groups with the primary goal of restoring turtle populations that are in major decline throughout SE Australia. This team was part of the first global assessment of the world’s turtle and tortoise species, which revealed that half of all 360 turtle and tortoise species worldwide face imminent extinction.
In Australia, attacks from invasive predators, road mortality, habitat destruction, water quality degradation and drought, are the primary factors contributing to the decline of Australia’s most common turtle species by up to 91 per cent over the last 40 years.
The aim of the 1 Million Turtles Project is to place schools, teachers, and school children at the centre of the community conservation program. It will create hands-on classroom experiences, as well as outdoor field-based conservation initiatives to:
- Establish school communities as a major focal point for freshwater turtle conservation initiatives helping restore declining turtle populations
- Assess the importance of hands-on classroom engagement with animals to facilitate on-ground conservation initiatives and engagement
- Provide accredited curriculum and training to schools in a range of disciplines, including environmental sustainability, citizen science and animal husbandry
- Assess the role of children as “agents of change” for the environment through their family and friend networks.
Through citizen science tools and engagement the project aims to raise awareness of turtle populations across South-Eastern Australia and support long term conservation of species. You can help by using some of the tools of the project to monitor and support turtles.
TurtleSAT is a Citizen Science mapping tool produced by the 1 Million Turtles Community Conservation program. TurtleSAT allows communities to map the location of freshwater turtles in waterways and wetlands across the country.
Download the TurtleSat app to record sightings of turtles when you are out and about.
Wildlife Rescue Handbook – the first 24 Hours
The FNPW Wildlife Heroes Project has developed a handy booklet to help you if you find injured wildlife, including turtles.
Download the booklet or print it and keep a copy in your car so that you will know what to do whenever you find injured wildlife.