Bring the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle Back from the Brink
In February 2015 a number of distressed and dying turtles were found by canoeists on the Bellinger River, near the township of Bellingen on the mid north coast of NSW. The community of Bellingen was devastated and it quickly became clear that if something wasn't done these delicate and charming creatures were at high risk of becoming extinct.
The dead turtles were all from one species, the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle (Myuchelys gorgesi), that only exists in a 25-kilometre stretch of the Bellinger River.
Bellingen Community has key role to play
The Bellingen Community has a key role to play in bringing the turtles back from the brink. We have 5 years to get our act together - that's how long it will take for the remaining juveniles in the river to grow to reproductive age. Community testing of river health reveals low dissolved oxygen, poor riparian zone health and high phosphate levels in critical turtle habitat.
A healthy river is key to the survival of the turtles. It is up to us to restore river health.
You can join us
OzGREEN is launching a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to support community efforts to restore the Bellinger River catchment to health. Funds will be used for education, research and on-ground action.
- Community Involvement and Action - involving Bellingen Schools and Community in citizen science, learning and on-ground action to protect the turtles and restore river health.
- Research – a PhD scholarship at Western Sydney University to investigate the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle and steps to bring the species back from the brink.
OzGREEN is a Bellingen based not for profit organisation with over 25 years of award winning experience - educating, equipping and engaging communities across Australia to care for their rivers and our future. Donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia.
The first target is to raise $30,000 to support stage 1 Community Involvement and Action in 2016-17.
And here’s what you get...
The knowledge that your efforts have saved this endearing little guy from extinction.