Australia. Baby turtles start hatching at Paradise Dam, Queensland

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Turtle hatching season has begun at Paradise Dam Turtle Hatchery with the first new baby turtles having been released into the Burnett River and with 11 remaining clutches of eggs expected to hatch over the next few months, Deputy Premier Anna Bligh said today.

Funded by The Coordinator-General, the turtle hatchery is one of a series of eight environmental projects that make up the Burnett Program of Actions.

"Far too many baby turtles in the wild don't even get the chance to hatch because of predators like foxes, goannas and water rats," Ms Bligh said. "What this hatchery does is give the Elseya albagula or whited-throated species of turtles a chance at survival in a tough environment.  The first clutch of baby turtles hatched at the Paradise Dam hatchery in October and has now been released back into the wild.”

"Thousands of turtles are expected to hatch over the five-year life of the turtle hatching project under the watchful eye of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has conducted a two-year study into freshwater turtles in the Burnett River and its findings have been invaluable in assisting the turtle breeding program which began with the completion of the hatchery earlier this year."

The turtle hatching program at Paradise Dam is being supervised by the EPA scientist Dr Col Limpus.

The Burnett Program of Actions arose out of The Coordinator-General's 2001 Reports on the Burnett River Dam (now known as Paradise Dam) and Eidsvold Weir, which noted a number of long-standing environmental issues in the area. Stage 1 of the Burnett Program of Actions is almost complete with major studies by scientists into turtles, the mapping of riparian vegetation, sediment and nutrient modelling, conservation values and lungfish and fish passage.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 19 November 2006 )