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Population status of the Oblong turtle in Armadale’s wetlands

Santoro, A., Summers, V. and Beatty, S.ORCID: 0000-0003-2620-2826 (2020) Population status of the Oblong turtle in Armadale’s wetlands. Murdoch University. Harry Butler Institute

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The Oblong turtle (Chelodina oblonga) is becoming a flagship species for Perth wetlands. As an apex predator the species plays an essential role in wetland ecosystem health. However, urban populations appear to be in decline due to numerous threats including habitat modification and destruction, wildlife-vehicle mortality, and predation. Three wetlands within City of Armadale were identified by the Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group as potentially significant sites for populations of the Oblong turtle. No baseline information on the presence and/or population status of C. oblonga within these wetlands currently exists. Modified funnel traps and fyke nets were deployed for an overnight trapping period in each wetland during October 2020. In total, thirty-four turtles were captured and released from the wetlands. The turtles captured were mainly adults and the few juveniles captured were >100 mm. Sex ratio varied from heavily male-dominated to slightly female-dominated. The results suggest that these populations have been experiencing low recruitment, and sex biased mortality at the heavily male dominated population. Continued monitoring of these populations as well as expansion of surveys to additional wetlands will enable a deeper understanding of C. oblonga population dynamics within the City of Armadale, as well as wetland-specific management recommendations.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit
Series Name: Report prepared for Shane Hunter Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group
Publisher: Murdoch University. Harry Butler Institute
United Nations SDGs: Goal 14: Life Below Water
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