Help support the Critically Endangered Bellinger River Snapping Turtle
A severe mortality event in February 2015 of the now ‘Critically Endangered’ Bellinger River Snapping Turtle (Myuchelys georgesi) is an indicator that the health of our rivers may not be what it seems.
Since the mortality event in 2015, a disease investigation has identified a virus (Bellinger River Virus or BRV), previously not known to science, as the agent most likely to be responsible. The current population of this species is estimated to be between 200 and 300 (prior to this event, the population was estimated at 1600 – 4500).
‘Bellingen Riverwatch’ grew as a response to this mortality event and is currently calling for more volunteers. This unique citizen science project sees volunteer community scientists working together with the scientific community to support the recovery of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle. “The health of the Bellinger River is key to the survival of the Bellinger River Turtle”, says OzGREEN Co-founder, Sue Lennox, one of the lead partners in the project. Volunteering involves collecting water quality data once a month. Volunteers receive training and support to carry out the required tasks.
“I’ve loved sharing the information learnt with my children, and watching them learn, asking questions, and playing an active part in it”, says Skye, Volunteer.
If you are keen to get involved, find more info at www.ozgreen.org.au/bellingen_riverwatch or contact the Bellingen Riverwatch Coordinator, Amy Denshire, on 0455 602 571 or email@example.com to register your interest.