The Mary River Turtle of Australia Is Facing Extinction
An Australian turtle that breathes through its butt and grows a spiked hair style of dark green algae on its head is on the world’s most endangered species list.
The Mary River Turtle, which only calls the Mary River its home, may even be headed towards total extinction. If the green spiked hair like a punk rocker doesn’t get you, the two spikes under this turtle’s chin certainly will. The Green River Turtle is one strange-looking ranger.
“This week, conservation group EDGE—Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered—run by the Zoological Society of London updated their endangered species list. The organization ranks animals that are both at risk of extinction and evolutionarily distinct from other similar species. according to Sarah Gibbens of National Geographic.
The rankings are backed by a study published in the journal PLOS One, which outlines the criteria scientists use to evaluate each species, Gibbens writes in an April 13 online posting of National Geographic.
EDGE is updated on an annual basis, but this year is special, says study author Rikki Gumbs, because it’s the first time reptiles have been included, Gibbens continues .
According to numerous sources, this type of turtle has seen dwindling numbers for decades now since so many people want a Mary River Turtle as a pet. This species is happiest and healthiest when it is in its only preferred habitat, the Mary River area of Australia.
Of course, what God creates can only be one-upped by humankind. And don’t even think of raising one of the little ones and setting it free near the Mary River when it matures and is a real pain in the neck. Domesticated wild animals can never become fully feral enough to assure they’ll be able to feed themselves and fend off predators, let alone meet a mate, in their natural habitats. So go to the dog pound and get a dog or a cat and leave the Mary River Turtles alone.
Turtles can live a long time and with few real predators, oftentimes do, but they just don’t reproduce like rodents or birds. The Mary River Turtle can take up to 25 years for females and up to 35 years for males to become mate ready and to assure their part in the preservation of the species promise made by each one of God’s creations.
Sure, these turtles hatch as eggs like birds do, but immediately after hatching, most species of turtle must scurry around looking to hide. When they are babies, this is the time when they are most vulnerable to predators. So even if a Mary River Turtle mom lays a lot of eggs, only a small fraction of them will become fully grown adults.
“Australia is one of the richest places in the world when it comes to reptile biodiversity, yet our federal government’s threatened species strategy doesn’t even include reptiles,” Australian Conservation Foundation policy analyst James Trezise told The Guardian.
“It is an entire class of species missing from the current national recovery efforts,” he said in news.com.au, as quoting The Guardian.
The Edge program uses a complex formula to award a threat score to unusual species at risk of extinction, this source says.
The Mary River turtle ranks number 30 in the league table of 572 reptiles. Top of the list is one of its cousins, the Madagascan big-headed turtle, with an Edge score higher than that of any other amphibian, bird or mammal, news.com.au said.