ivermectin tablet dose in hindi Tsuyama The situation has become so serious, experts say, that the Murray could be void of turtles by the end of this century, leaving the river without one of its most ecologically important creatures.
And the South Australian section of the river is the hardest-hit in the nation, with tube-worms and salinity problems compounding the problem caused by foxes raiding up to 90 per cent of turtle nests for their eggs.
The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife has joined forces with a number of research partners to undertake a three-year research project to attempt to halt the decline of the reptiles.
Foundation chief executive officer Ian Darbyshire said fox predation had put extreme pressure on the three turtle species who call the river home – the Murray short neck turtle, eastern long necked turtle and the broad-shelled turtle.
“The good old fox has discovered that turtle nests are a great source of food,” Mr Darbyshire said.
“The Foundation is working with various universities that are looking at ways to stem this decline and, eventually, rebuild the numbers.
“First they need to determine the science behind this decline, then they can look at turning it around.”
Mr Darbyshire said methods currently being considered to foil foxes included using scents to discourage them from digging up eggs and even creating floating islands in the middle of the river that would allow the turtles to make their nests away from the marauding canines.
He said the fact that turtles were thriving in some sewerage treatment areas, which were surrounded by fences, showed that they could do well when isolated from predators.
“The turtles are big scavengers in the river, and as such they play a very important role,” Mr Darbyshire said.
“To help them we need to get the community involved, the people who live on and use the river. They can help out by reporting turtle sightings on the TurtleSAT website.”
Riverglen Marina manager Rose Faehrmann grew up on the Murray and said she’d noticed a decline in turtle numbers since she was a kid.
Ms Faehrmann said that when she was young she would create turtle nesting boxes from old banana crates, and that this method could be reintroduced to help turtle numbers recover.
“We would remove one slat from the box, then partly bury it in a sandy area where turtles would nest,” she said.
“This kept the eggs safe from foxes and other predators. When they hatched mum and dad would sometimes take some to town for the pet shop trade.”
Ms Faehrmann said she’d also noticed an increase in fox numbers along the river, and this year lost all the grapes in her garden to the cunning creatures.