MOST people have never seen a Bell’s Turtle or even heard of one, but the species is under threat and the local land service intends to save them.
Almost $1 million will be spent on conserving what’s left of the local population over the next 10 years, which span from Gwydir River down to the Namoi and MacDonald rivers.
The grant is part of the state government’s Saving our Species program and will bring the Northern Tablelands LLS, the Department of Primary Industries and the Office of Environment and Heritage together to tackle the problem.
Northern Tableland LLS chair Hans Hietbrink said he thought it was important to preserve all threatened animals.
“Any vulnerable species requires attention and one of the things we’re looking at is to ensure this species if preserved will into the future,” he said.
“If we let it decline, then it will disappear forever.”
Part of the Turtle’s problem is that the current populations are too old, so much of the programs effort will be around establishing a younger breeding population.
Sniffer dog will be used to find eggs so they will be protected and hatched.
The team will also look at how to protect the turtles and eggs from pigs and dogs.
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