Assisted colonisation trials for the western swamp turtle to cooler southern wetlands - Factsheet
Date: 02, Nov, 2020
Publisher: TSR Hub
This study is a world-first trial of assisted colonisation of a vertebrate species in response to the threat of climate change. The Critically Endangered western swamp turtle (Pseudemydura
umbrina) naturally occurs in one small, now isolated, ephemeral and seasonal clay swamp complex near Perth, Western Australia. The species relies on a wet winter and spring period to eat, grow and reproduce within the wetlands, and is then dormant (in aestivation) when the wetlands dry out. The critical wet period was formerly up to seven months long, but without remedial intervention reduced rainfall due to climate change has reduced the wet period to three to four months. Shortened wet periods coupled with extensive habitat loss on
privately owned land and changes in adjacent land usage threaten the persistence of the species within its natural range.