Aussie Ark made history recently when they collected the first Manning River turtles to begin the development of the insurance population.
They also rescued 12 eggs from a nest site at risk of predation, which they relocated to the Australian Reptile Park for incubation. Once hatched, some of the hatchlings will be the first turtles release back into the wild.
In 2018, Aussie Ark and the Australian Reptile Park, committed to saving the critically endangered species from extinction, after their status was upgraded in 2017 due to the speed of its disappearance from Manning River NSW waterways.
Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner said Manning River turtles were vital in maintaining river systems within the Barrington Tops region.
"Without them aquatic ecosystems tumble," he said.
"We took notice two years ago and now catastrophic events have nearly wiped their entire population."
Aussie Ark has now collected the first specimens to begin the establishment of a robust insurance population of the endangered turtles.
The first male, female and juvenile were relocated to the state-of-the-art facility at the Australian Reptile Park. The turtles will soon be joined by other individuals, in the hopes that the waterways in the Barrington Tops will soon be abundant with Manning River turtles, once more.
Freshwater turtles are natures vacuums, they are critical to our freshwater ecosystems, cleaning up river systems, keeping aquatic vegetation in balance, and maintaining the stunning waterways Australia is known for.
"This is what we worked for," Mr Faulkner said.
"This is just the first step in the right direction for this unique, Australian turtle.
"We could not have done it without our partners and supporters."
The Manning River turtle facility at the Australian Reptile Park would like to thank their supporters Steber International, The Happy Wombat, Aus Eco solutions, Manning River Steel and each individual who donated to the cause, helping to make the collection possible.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN NEWS TODAY
- Watch as emergency operation to save Stockton holiday cabins begins
- Quorrobolong farmer makes a splash as rain brings much-needed relief
- Singleton Council water warning expands to new suburb, water carters
- Residents want answers after water breach damages properties
- State opposition backs calls Stockton natural disaster declaration