Predicting the Impact of Damming on the Endangered Mary River Turtle (2009–2012)
River damming results in significant changes to environmental water conditions including the loss of pool-rifle sequences, reduced water flow, alterations in temperature profiles, increased water depth and decreased oxygen levels. The impacts of these physio-chemical changes upon freshwater turtles is poorly known. The aim of this research program is to assess/predict the possible effects of the proposed Traveston dam on the endangered Mary River Turtle (Elusor macrurus). As a species that respires aquatically via cloacal ventilation, it is likely that it will be highly susceptible to the formation of stagnant water bodies and interrupted river flows. The results of this study will aid in the conservation and management of this species.