Researchers capture the world’s first images of endangered Manning River turtles mating in the wild

Researchers have captured the world’s first images of endangered Manning River turtles mating in the wild.

It’s come during their ramped up monitoring work which has seen survey teams deployed across 17 sites along waterways near Gloucester and Taree to uncover never-before-seen clues about their lives.

Cameras which have been set up across the river network have captured 29 Manning turtles, as well as Eastern Longneck turtles, Murray River turtles and other native fish and shrimp.

The video footage of the endangered turtles mating will now be used to shed light on the elusive species behaviours and lifecycle — helping scientists in their ongoing conservation efforts.

NSW DCCEEW Executive Director Water Knowledge, Mitchell Isaacs says, capturing the world’s first footage of the endangered species mating in the wild is a remarkable find.

“These freshwater turtles are a beautiful and rare species only found in a small pocket of coastal NSW, but they’re proving vital in helping us unlock more sustainable and healthier ecosystems.

“We still don’t know exactly how long they can live for, but it’s likely to be longer than 40 years if conditions are good. They help boost water quality and cycle nutrients throughout the river by scavenging for food.

“Learning more about these amazing creatures, including tracking their behaviours, migration patterns and lifecycles, will help us better manage the rivers they call home, and help us better understand how we can share water to benefit everyone.”