Recovery Team Report for FOWST

Some interesting and some sad developments from the Recovery Team meeting.

  • A possible new site to be investigated for tortoise habitat in the longer term – Benger Swamp.
  • One male tortoise in the new captive breeding colony at Adelaide Zoo has died. Investigations as to why.
  • Possibility of some scholarships for University Research Projects being instigated for Semester 2 and onwards.
  • Extension of WST site at Zoo secured. Concept plans for development in progress.
  • 4000 seedlings were planted at Ellen Brook Nature Reserve in 2007. Further 4000 were repotted.
  • 20/25 bandicoots were translocated from EBNR. Successful program will be repeated at end winter 2008. Bandicoots dig up and eat the WST eggs.
  • No nests were found at Twin Swamps Nature Reserve last season. Possible bandicoot problem here as well.
  • 25 WST released at Mogumber doing very well.
  • Moore River Nature Reserve trial release of 10 animals. 7 retrieved and brought back to Zoo, 3 still out there. All 7 put on weight in the 5 days. Trial bunding successful. Area needs aestivation tunnels.
  • Gerald has noted that more than half WST are using artificial aestivation tunnels and thinks it must be due to the zoo training.
  • Ellen Brook numbers of WST generally trending up, but at Twin Swamps there appears to be no recruitment, even though some of the animals are now more than 110mm carapace length, which is the criteria for an adult animal. Still less than 50 adults in the wild.
  • Problem at Zoo (daylight saving?) that some females are laying late in the day after zoo staff go home. The eggs are therefore not collected and housed. The baby tortoises may have some difficulty getting through the grass when hatching.
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