This threatened Mary River turtle has a punk following.
This threatened Mary River turtle has a punk following.

Why Mary River’s punk turtle is back in spotlight

THE Mary River's punk turtle has been featured in National Geographic.

The endangered reptile, which sports an algae mohawk, starred in the publication this month.

The article, written by Patricia Edmonds, notes many facts about the freshwater turtle, including the days in the 1960s/70s when it was sold in Australian pet shops and referred to as a "penny turtle".

"Aussie reptile expert John Cann couldn't figure out the turtles' species or origin for years- until he saw one in its only native habitat, the Mary River," the article says.

A Mary River turtle hatchling.
A Mary River turtle hatchling. Contributed

The bum-breathing turtle has attracted a lot of attention since it was first discovered in the Mary River.

It is listed as an endangered species and much has been done to try to restore its numbers to healthy levels.

Tiaro's Marilyn Connell was interviewed for the article.

The Tiaro Landcare member, who is a leader of the Mary River turtle conservation project, said she was focused on trying to preserve the species, with much of her time spent on the banks of the Mary River assessing clutches of eggs and hatchling numbers.

The article can be found by clicking here.


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