THE first Manning River turtles and 12 eggs have been rescued from the Barrington to begin a breeding program with the Aussie Ark and the Australian Reptile Park.
The eggs are being incubated at the Australian Reptile Park with homes that some of the hatchlings will be the first turtles released back into the wild.
In January, a male, female and juvenile turtle were transferred to the Australian Reptile Park, with these turtles set to join them and hopefully up to 12 new hatchlings from the eggs collected in the hopes of making the turtles abundant in the Barrington Tops again.
In 2018 conservationists began planning a program to protect the turtles from extinction, but the program has been urgently stepped up following the drought and fires decimating the remaining population in the wild.
Tim Faulkner, president of the Aussie Ark, said the turtles were critical to the Barrington Tops ecosystem.
“Manning River turtles are vital in maintaining river systems within the Barrington Tops region, without them aquatic ecosystems tumble,” said Mr Faulkner.
“We took notice, two years ago, and now catastrophic events have nearly wiped their entire population,” he said.
“This is what we worked for; This is just the first step in the right direction for this unique, Australian turtle; We could not have done it without our partners and supporters,” Tim Faulkner said.
To support the Manning River Turtle rescue visit Aussie Ark.