There are many things community members can do to maintain river health and support the recovery of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle.
1. Help us buy a Water Testing Kit - URGENT
We don't have enough kits! Our most urgent need at present is funding five more water testing kits to support our dedicated volunteers to gather consistent monthly data.
It is hard to find the words to describe the concern our community felt in 2015 when we lost almost all of our beautiful turtles. We have been witness to the change that this program has made, in turning that concern into dedicated, constructive community action.
The situation is critical for the BRST. There are only juveniles left and it takes 5 years for them to reach breeding age. We have a 4 year mandate to monitor the river health in that time, grow community awareness and education about how to care for the river, and create nesting habitat.
We're raising $3000
We're crowdfunding $3000 to buy one water testing kit and are hoping for four kit sponsors. This kit will go to one of our volunteers so they can test monthly at a site identified as critical by our scientists. The data they collect is accessed by our eleven partners nationally and supports the recovery of our Critically Endangered turtle.
Your donation goes to the heart of the program - consistently monitoring our river's health. Our River. Our Future.
If you are able to donate to this campaign, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
2. Keep a Clean Routine
Thorough cleaning of boats and equipment when moving from the Bellinger to other waterways may significantly reduce the risk of transporting the BRV virus. Community members can help minimise the risk of spreading the virus by swimming in only one location, or cleaning and drying swimming gear between visits, and washing down canoes with soapy water and drying thoroughly before re-use.
Download Keep a ‘clean’ routine: Bellinger River Snapping Turtle mortality (link coming soon)
Download Code of Conduct for recreational use: Bellinger & Kalang Estuary (link coming soon)
3. Report Turtle Sightings
Report turtle sightings using Turtle SAT, and report nesting sights, and sick or dead turtles on (02) 6659 8200 or Bellinger.firstname.lastname@example.org. To report sick or dead turtles, phone 131 555.
4. Make a Regular or One-Off Gift
Sustaining a highly functioning community project such as this requires adequate on-ground and administrative support to ensure that the volunteers are well supported and the partnerships are nurtured. Make a regular or one-off gift to support this program into the future.
5. Like us on Facebook
We need to get the plight of the turtle and how our local and global communities can help out far and wide. By liking us on Facebook, you can help share our posts and build our community.
6. Buy a T-shirt or Keep-Cup
Another great way to spread the word is by wearing one of our awesome t-shirts or using one of our keep-cups.
7. Subscribe to our Monthly River Health Snapshot
Each month, we send out a River Health Snapshot, reporting on the parameters that are of particular importance to turtle recovery - Available Phosphates, Dissolved Oxygen and Water Temperature. Most months, we also include a report on Faecal Coliform.
8. Come to an Event
Bringing people together around the health of the river is incredibly important for our future.
9. Volunteer with Us
We are currently recruiting for Roving and Holler Volunteers.
Roving Volunteers support the testing at core sites and step in if our water testing volunteers are ill or away.
Holler Volunteers help build support for this innovative citizen science project. Tasks may be include distributing flyers/posters, market stalls, talking to sponsors or social media.