Saturday, December 18, 2010
January 29, 2009
I have recently become involved with a wonderful and dedicated group of people who are the founders of the Australian Freshwater Turtle Conservation and Research Association (AFTCRA Inc.), a not-for-profit organization devoted to the conservation of our wonderful freshwater turtle species. With little support, Craig and Gabrielle Latta and their family have generously funded the successful breeding of several species of freshwater turtle for many years, including endangered species such as the Mary River Turtle (Elusor macrurus) and the Irwins Turtle (Elseya irwini).
Up until recently, captive bred turtles were not allowed to be re-released into the wild due to strict environmental legislation; however with special permission from the Queensland EPA and with the wild population of Mary River Turtles diminishing, the Latta's have been able to breed and release this important species back into its natural environment. On Australia day this year, I was fortunate to be able to take part in a release ceremony in which 53 juvenile Mary River Turtles were released back into the wild. This is a great step for the conservation of this species and the Latta's have assured me that they will endeavour to continue this important work.
More information on volunteering or donating and becoming a member of AFTCRA can be found on their website http://www.aftcra.org.au/.