Civil team save Ray from a 'turtle' disaster
Spotted wondering across a busy Adelaide Hills road, one of our Civil team members came to the rescue and returned Ray the turtle to a nearby creekline.
The Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis) are native animals and are protected across Australia.
Unfortunately, most of Australia’s freshwater turtles are under serious threat and in decline due to widespread drought and degradation of waterways, fox predation and human activities which include fatalities whilst crossing roads.
The natural habitat for turtles like Ray is a slow-moving water body, such as wetlands and swampy areas, as well as streams and rivers. They are carnivorous animals, feeding on fish, crustaceans, molluscs, amphibians, worms and insects.
Despite being the smallest of the South Australian freshwater turtles, their shells can grow to 25cm in diameter and they can weigh up to 1.5kgs! They are extremely good swimmers due to their large, webbed feet.
Turtles are considered to be highly beneficial to our waterways as they are scavengers of ‘carrion’, which means they clean up much of the dead material, which in turn regulates the nutrient levels. Now that's turtley awesome!
If you'd like to help protect little friends like Ray and get involved in some citizen science, then check out the 1 Million Turtles Community Conservation Program. This program is aimed at conserving threatened Australian freshwater turtle species by encouraging anyone with an interest in conservation to help count turtles using the TurtleSAT mobile phone app.