Sanctuary helps nesting endangered turtles in northern Victoria

A broad-shelled turtle laying eggs.
A broad-shelled turtle laying eggs.

A species of endangered turtle has a better shot at life following the establishment of a breeding sanctuary in the north of the region.

The North Central Catchment Management Authority and Turtles Australia have, with permission, fenced off an area of Ridley Agriproducts’ mill site on Longmore Lagoon at Gunbower to create a safe place for the broad-shelled turtle to breed.

The land next to the lagoon is a popular nesting spot for the turtle, the largest of the three species of native turtles found in the region.

North Central CMA acting project manager Amy Russell said the sanctuary allowed the turtles to nest on higher ground without the risk of predators, such as foxes, raiding their nests.

The 400 metre-long fence is designed to stop predators jumping or climbing over it, or digging under it.

The construction of the fence follows a large baiting program, part of a North Central CMA effort to increase the number of juvenile turtles in the area.

Staff at the mill are encouraged to report any turtle sightings to Turtles Australia.

Anyone who sees a turtle can record it online here.