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SeaLink and Captain Cook Cruises Partner with the Foundation for Nationals Parks & Wildlife to Rebuild Murray River Turtle Populations

Populations of Murray River Turtles have declined by 90% in the last 40 years and unless urgent action is taken the entire population could be wiped out.

According to the University of Western Sydney’s Dr Ricky Spencer the problem is spreading up the Murray and is only getting worse. 

"Every few years we survey 50-100 sites throughout the Murray river to check on the turtle population and track numbers. In South Australia, we are seeing locally extinct populations and we are starting to see it further up the river into NSW and Victoria. Something needs to be done now before it’s too late.”

The biggest threat to this species is predators, mainly foxes. In some areas foxes are destroying between 90% -100% of turtle eggs each year. What this means is, essentially, there are no new generations of breeding turtles to continue the population.

The good news is that SeaLink and Captain Cook Cruises is partnering with FNPW to raise money to help save the Murray River Turtles. Information about the plight of the Turtles will be placed in every room on Captain Cook’s Murray River Princess, and guests invited to support the conservation campaign with a donation. Every guest who makes a donation will get to keep a replica sand turtle as a reminder of their gift.

Funds raised through this campaign will enable FNPW and Dr Spencer to implement a variety of projects to increase populations of Murray Turtles, including: 

  • creating artificial islands as a protected habitat for nesting turtles.
  • recruiting local schools to help breed turtles.
  • improving fox managements techniques - including fences, fox boxes and traps.
“Murray River Turtles are an iconic Australian animal and we desperately need to get these projects off the ground. We want to release thousands of extra baby turtles into these populations, and hopefully not only see the emerging baby population survive, but thrive.”
said Ian Darbyshire, CEO of FNPW.

We encourage our guests to support this worthy cause. Please donate directly to the Foundation for National Wildlife and Parks.