Mary River Turtle Hatchlings
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Mary River Turtle Protection Program
  • Last updated:
  • 29 Jun 2020

The Mary River Turtle Protection Program (MRTPP) aims to protect the threatened Mary River turtle. This native turtle species is found only in the Mary River catchment. It is vulnerable to a range of threats including foxes—who eat the eggs before they have a chance to hatch.

The program's initial focus was on protecting individual clutches of eggs. It has now developed to catchment-wide program involving collaborative action from community and government to support turtle populations.

The MRTPP is a collaboration between the community, Sunshine Coast Council, Tiaro Landcare, Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee, Gympie Regional Council, Noosa Shire Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Council is supporting the program through invasive animal control and monitoring.

Target species

European fox (Vulpes vulpes); feral cat (Felis catus); feral pig (Sus scrufa); feral fallow deer (Dama dama); feral red deer (Cervus elaphus); feral rusa deer (Cervus timorensis) and wild dog (Canis lupus familiaris).

Schedule

Ongoing

Location

Multiple private properties across the Mary River Catchment. Click here[5580KB] for a map of the Mary River Turtle Protection Program

Get involved

If you would like your property to be part of the Mary River Turtle Protection Program please contact council. For more information on other Mary River turtle protection activities please contact Tiaro Landcare.

Protection methods

  • Canid pest ejectors (spring-activated baiting devices) are used to control foxes and wild dogs.
  • Ejectors are installed in areas of known fox and wild dogs activity on participating private properties within the program area.
  • Ejectors are baited with Sodium Fluoroacetate (1080), a restricted pesticide. 1080 is considered the most species-specific pesticide for controlling invasive species. For more information about 1080 view the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 1080 fact sheet.
  • A regulatory risk assessment is undertaken prior to placement of canid pest ejectors on any property.
  • All properties adjoining and adjacent to an approved property are notified prior to commencement of control activities.
  • Warning signs are placed at the entrances to properties where canid pest ejectors are in place.
  • Control activities are conducted by qualified and experienced invasive animal officers. Officers operate under council’s policies and procedures and in line with Queensland's animal welfare laws.
Note: Canid pest ejectors cannot be trans-located by animals. However domestic pets may be at risk if allowed to roam. It is an offence to allow a cat or dog roam outside of its property. Read about responsible pet ownership.

Canid Pest Ejector 


  • A risk assessment is undertaken prior to commencement of feral deer control.
  • All neighbouring properties within 300m of an approved control property are notified prior to scheduled control activities.
  • Thermal technology is used in targeted field shooting.
  • Control activities are conducted by qualified and experienced feral deer officers. Officers operate under council’s policies and procedures and in line with Queensland's animal welfare laws.
  • Monitoring is undertaken on selected private properties within the program area.
  • Motion detection cameras are used to capture invasive animal and native animal activity to determine the program's effectiveness.
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  • A range of traps are used to control invasive species on council and private lands.
  • Soft-catch foothold traps are used to control foxes and wild dogs. 
  • Cage/box traps are used to control feral cats and feral pigs.
  • Panel traps are used to control larger groups of feral pigs.
  • Warning signs are placed at the entrance of properties undertaking trapping.
  • Traps are checked daily or continuously by telemetry camera.
  • Participants operate under council’s policies and procedures and in line with Queensland's animal welfare laws.

Note: Domestic pets may be at risk if allowed to roam. It is an offence to allow a cat or dog to roam. Read about responsible pet ownership.

Soft catch foothold trap