The Department of Environment and Science has released a critically endangered turtle into the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton. Picture: Contributed
The Department of Environment and Science has released a critically endangered turtle into the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton. Picture: Contributed

Critically endangered turtle released into Fitzroy River

A critically endangered turtle has been released into the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton after it was surrendered to the Department of Environment and Science.

Senior wildlife officer Joshua Morris said a person contacted wildlife officers because they wanted to surrender three turtles.

Mr Morris said wildlife officers inspected a property in the Rockhampton region and found the person was in possession of two Krefft's river turtles and one white-throated snapping turtle.

He said the white-throated snapping turtle was listed as critically endangered under Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992.

He said the person "admitted" to keeping the turtles for a number of years without a wildlife authority or permit.

 

White-throated snapping turtle release: The Department of Environment and Science has released a critically endangered turtle into the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton.
White-throated snapping turtle release: The Department of Environment and Science has released a critically endangered turtle into the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton.

 

"Anyone who comes into possession of a native animal suspected to be from the wild should immediately call wildlife officers," he said.

"Wildlife officers respond to every report we receive, and I'd like to remind people to seek professional advice if they see a sick or injured animal in the wild or in care.

"Taking a native animal from the wild is illegal and can have a detrimental impact on local populations, especially they are critically endangered like the white-throated snapping turtle."

Mr Morris said after spending time in quarantine, the Krefft's river turtles found a new home with the Rockhampton Zoo.

"Unfortunately, the Krefft's river turtles could not be released to the wild, because of the potential to spread disease into wild populations," he said.

 

White-throated snapping turtle. Picture: Contributed
White-throated snapping turtle. Picture: Contributed

 

"We're pleased to say a vet inspection found the white-throated snapping turtle to be disease-free and it was recently released back into the wild.

"Regarding the Krefft's river turtles, the person was issued with a $667 Penalty Infringement Notice for illegally keeping a protected animal and warned for the same offence in relation to the white-throated snapping turtle.

"It is illegal to take or keep native animals from the wild, however, with the appropriate wildlife authority, it's possible to keep a native animal bought from a registered seller.

"If people want to keep native animals, they must be sourced from a person or business who has permits to keep the animal, along with movement permits to prove the origins of the animal."

If anyone has any information about the illegal take, keep or trade of wildlife, contact the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372 or local police.

The rehabilitation of sick, injured, or orphaned protected animals also requires a Rehabilitation Permit issued by the Department.