World Turtle News, 04/29/2016
NSW Scientific Committee lists north coast turtle as critically endangered
The Bellinger River Snapping Turtle has officially been raised to a critically endangered status by the New South Wales Scientific Committee. Myuchelys georgesi was battered by a mysterious virus which almost caused their extinction just one year ago. The population took a nose-dive as numbers dropped from approximately 2000 to likely less than 60 animals. The death toll was sickening as hundreds of carcasses were discovered on the beaches of the Bellinger River. Surprisingly, the virus spread incredibly quickly; in addition, it occurred in a small locality within a national park known for its clean and uncontaminated water. Myuchelys georgesi is endemic to the Bellinger River and the Taronga Zoo along with the University of Western Sydney is working with the Office of Environment and Heritage to develop a captive breeding program in an attempt to save the species. This program consists of 16 individuals, on whose backs rests the only hope for this amazing turtle.
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From the Library…
The American Turtle Observatory is dedicated to the conservation and study of the turtles native to the United States and Mexico. Check out their website at http://www.americanturtles.org/
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Photo from NSW Scientific Committee.