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Endangered turtles nesting in "improving" Mary River system

Craig Warhurst

THE unique and endangered Mary River turtles are making the most of an improving water catchment system in the region, says one conservation committee.

The Mary River Catchment Coordination Committee (MRCCC) has just wrapped up their annual catchment crawl, as part of Mary River Month, which runs until November 12.

A team of dedicated volunteers has once again scaled the banks of the Mary, making note of the waterway's health.

MRCCC spokeswoman Tanzi Smith said while there were no signs of crocs, there was some other exciting wildlife activity noticed on the crawl.

"No, we didn't see any signs of them [crocs], but we did see signs that the Mary River turtle nesting season was starting," Ms Smith said.

"What we look for to know that is signs of the tracks of the female turtles exploring the river banks."

She said the river was "slightly better" than last year, but the dissolved oxygen level was lower than it should be in some areas.

"A little more oxygen would help aquatic life throughout the whole system," she said.

"It can be improved by increasing shade on the water, which reduces water temperature, and then enables the water to hold more oxygen.

"Reducing water temperature would also make the Fraser Coast more likely to have endangered Mary River cod breeding, as they prefer water to be around 20 degrees Celsius."

She said the Mary River's water temperature was around 25 degrees.

 

Check out what else is happening around the region for Mary River Month:

-On now: Spring in the Mary photo competition which any amateur photographer can enter with a photo taken in the Mary River Catchment.

- October 27: MRCCC's AGM where representatives from all over the catchment will be in attendance, including several from the Fraser Coast.

- October 29 and  November 8: Waste, Recycling and Waste Bus Tours run by the Fraser Coast Regional Council where people have the chance to learn about what happens to their waste. Go to www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au/education-tours

- November 9: The Fraser Coast-based group, the Greater Mary Association, giving a presentation on a trial they did about different methods of Cats Claw control. Cats Claw is one of the worst weeds for the health of the Mary River. The presentation is at the "Alternative Herbicides for Revegetation Field Day."

- November 10: Mary's Marvellous Mangroves at Tandora tour a special discounted price for Mary River Month. Contact MRCCC to book

- November 12: Mary River Festival, where the photo competition entries will be on display. It's on in Kandanga. A beautiful giant lantern parade will be occurring featuring the Eastern Curlew, a critically endangered bird that calls the Fraser Coast home. In fact the Fraser Coast is a very, very important place for this bird. 

Topics:  conservation environment mary river mary river turtle wildlife



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