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Record Year for Western Swamp Tortoise Conservation

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 25, 2021 11:20 pm

Western Swamp Tortoise Perth Zoo

A juvenile western swamp tortoise emerges from its egg at the Perth Zoo

Photo Credit: Perth Zoo

Perth Zoo have celebrated a record breaking year in their conservation efforts for the threatened western swamp tortoise. This year saw 65 western swamp tortoises hatched at Perth Zoo and a further 73 older tortoises returned to the wild.

Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said of this record, "This record year is a milestone worth celebrating for the western swamp tortoise conservation efforts and is a testament to the hard work of the staff at DBCA, Perth Zoo and all scientific researchers and volunteers involved."

The released turtles were split in to two groups which were released into habitat in the South-West of Western Australia where it is hoped they will form a form a new self-sustaining population.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and researchers from the University of Western Australia’s School of Biological Sciences released 16 tortoises east of Augusta and a further 57 into a swamp at nearby Scott National Park.

Some of the tortoises released were fitted with radio transmitters and data loggers. These will allow the scientists from the University of Western Australia to track the animals' movements and collect valuable data on outcomes from the release.

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This latest release follows a pilot program which was conducted in 2016 and 2018. This helped to determine which habitats in the South-West would be able to support the species. It is hoped that this will provide a solution for the effects of climate change on the swamp tortoises natural habitat.

The areas chosen for release are protected and managed for biodiversity conservation. Regular fox control is undertaken in this area to protect vulnerable native wildlife such as the western swamp tortoise.

These new habitats will complement the areas of remnant bushland north of Perth which provide critical habitat for the survival of this threatened species.

Western Swamp Tortoise Perth Zoo

An adult western swamp tortoise prior to its release in to the wild

Photo Credit: Perth Zoo

Learn more about Turtles and Tortoises here – Turtle and Tortoise Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Perth Zoo on their website – Perth Zoo

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