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Website will help map and protect Australia’s turtles

Australia’s turtle populations are in decline, and citizen science programmes are critical to their recovery, a leading ecologist says.

Ricky Spencer, head of the wildlife biology laboratory at Western Sydney University, says fox predation, roadkill, disease and poor water management are driving population declines across the country.

He has set up TurtleSAT, a website for people to map turtle sightings across Australia and to provide information on roadkill “hotspots” as well as nesting sites. He said this information is crucial for protecting nests and relocating turtles from high-fatality areas and urban developments.

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