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Turtle Watch: Community engagement and action

Lewis, E. and Baudains, C.ORCID: 0000-0001-8340-864X (2015) Turtle Watch: Community engagement and action. Open Review of Educational Research, 2 (1). pp. 167-181.

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Many threats face the freshwater turtle, Chelodina colliei, also known as the oblong turtle. A community education project, Turtle Watch, focused on this target species and enabled effective conservation action to be implemented. Turtle Watch was conducted in the Perth Metropolitan Area of Western Australia, as the oblong turtle inhabits the wetlands of Perth. Predation, habitat loss, road deaths and climate change are key threats to this species. Nest predation issues arose during stage 1 of Turtle Watch (2005–2008), so Turtle Watch 2 (2010–2012) aimed to identify predators and foster community partnerships, including citizen science, to promote awareness and conservation of turtles. Turtle Watch 2 focused on four eco education centres and involved collaboration between government and community groups concerned about turtles. Camera surveillance was undertaken to determine predators. Various strategies were also adopted to promote community education and participation, such as, public talks, fair stalls, media publicity, and the ‘Turtle Hotline’ and ClimateWatch website for recording turtle sightings. Project results included camera surveillance evidence of fox predation. In addition, numerous partnerships, ranging from research organizations, educational institutions, and input from community citizen scientists made valuable contributions to the project by working collaboratively on turtle conservation issues. Following completion of Turtle Watch 2 (2013), it was agreed by project stakeholders that the initiative would continue given considerable community momentum to support an ongoing Turtle Watch commitment. This strong community and school engagement continues to contribute to improved knowledge, skills and action in relation to oblong turtle conservation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: © 2018 Informa UK Limited
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