Conservation biology of freshwater turtles

(2006-2010)

My doctoral studies were based in the Riverland of South Australia where the final catchment of the lower Murray River meets the sea. I combined physiological and ecological research to study the impact of salinsation on adult and embryonic turtles, as well as spatial ecology and population biology of the broad-shelled turtle, Murray river turtle and eastern long-necked turtle. I found that these turtles were comparatively tolerant of salinity compared to North-American turtles and the effects of salinity on eggs are similar to those of dry substrates. The male broad-shelled turtle moved impressive distances of over 20 km upstream, in and out of backwaters, whereas the females occupied small home-ranges and this is important when considering water management strategies such as blocking backwaters that are connected to the river channel.

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