Help save our snake necked turtle with citizen science!
The City of Canning have recently joined forces with Murdoch University and South West Group to participate in the Lotterywest funded Saving Our snake necked turtle Project.
This project will provide you with an opportunity to help save snake neck turtles by receiving training in the latest turtle knowledge and become a turtle tracker using the TurtleSAT app.
Many of the City’s wetlands, including the Canning River Regional Park, are home to populations of the snake necked turtle which are under threat from a combination of feral animals, road strikes, and lack of suitable nesting habitat.
To join the projects resident trackers and save the snake necked turtle, come along to a training session which will cover what is expected of volunteers, safety guidelines, how to monitor nesting females, and how to protect nests with mesh.
Snake necked turtles are easily identifiable by their long, thin neck and it's shell which is generally dark brown to black while the bottom of the shell is pale in colour. Adult turtles have a shell length of 30 to 40 centimetres whilst baby turtles (hatchlings) can be as small as 30 millimetres.
What should I do if I see a snake necked turtle?
Avoid disturbing them or picking them up
If you see a turtle in danger of being attacked by another animal or they are heading in the direction of road traffic, you can help by protecting them from any predators or escorting them across a road (if it is safe to do so), without disturbing them or picking them up.
If a turtle is heading towards land, do not return it to the water as it is likely looking for a suitable nesting site. If you do return a turtle to the water before it has nested it may try to make the dangerous trip again or abort its egg – so it is best to just keep you distance, be a turtle bodyguard and let it make its journey. If you spot a hatchling, you can return it to the nearest wetland.
Who should I contact if I find an injured turtle?
If you find an injured or dead turtle, it should be taken to WA Wildlife Hospital who can provide emergency care and rehabilitation:
WA Wildlife Hospital
If you are needing to handle a turtle in order to take it to a wildlife rescue centre, please make sure you do so correctly. You can grasp the turtle around the middle of the carapace and hold it away from your body. The hind legs have small claws so this will prevent you from getting any minor scratches.