Rookwood Weir turtle monitoring program to help protect local species

Fitzroy Turtle

The Rookwood Weir turtle movement study will help protect the future of the Fitzroy River Turtle and White Throated Snapping Turtle in the Fitzroy River.

The study, which started in 2017, has so far involved six field studies to tag turtles to allow a better understanding of their seasonal movement patterns and home ranges.

Rookwood Weir Project Director Mitch Carr said the process would help inform the design of Queensland’s first turtle movement ramp.

 “Before we can implement a ramp for turtle movement, we need to understand the criteria which will ensure its success. This study will do that,” he said.

“One of the key matters we’re looking to address is the potential for the weir to inhibit turtle movement. By understanding where turtles live and how they can move over time, we can ensure their natural movements are properly facilitated.

“We’re excited to be delivering Queensland’s first piece of infrastructure to maintain healthy populations of these important species in the Fitzroy.”

Mr Carr said the future of local turtles would also be supported by a robust environmental offset strategy with a focus on protecting turtle nests.

 “We’re looking at a range of innovative ways we can protect nests from predation to increase populations, including installing protective mesh and the use of turtle nest detection dogs,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing our important work in this space and sharing new developments as research progresses.”