The Plymouth red-bellied turtle, also known as red belly cooter is a very colourful turtle inhabiting large freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, creeks and adjacent marshes. These beautiful turtles are listed in endangered species by wildlife authorities and, is the sole responsibility of us all to save this species from becoming extinct. This turtle was largely overlooked by developers, policy makers and environmentalists until the late 1980’s when it was discovered that only about 200 of these remained in the wild. However, in an attempt to save these endangered species, in 1983, Massasoit National Wildlife Refuge was established only to safeguard the red-bellied turtles.
A few components have been highlighted as reasons why this species, is going extinct. One of the biggest reasons for the decrease in population is mainly due to habitat loss. Rapid urbanisation such as converting the forests, farmlands and wetlands into buildings, lawns and parking lots is one of the main reasons. This causes major issues for the turtles who rely upon these zones for nourishment, protection and a safe place to lay their eggs. Also, turtles have a homecoming instinct which urges them to come back to their home year after year. This has proved to be very adverse for the survival of the turtles because they will return home to a place that has been developed. This leads to many turtles death and thus it becomes our responsibility to save them.
If you have bought a property which is adjacent to a pond, lake, river, swamp or any other fresh water body, chances are that you may have turtles as visitors in late spring. Before, implementing any activity on your property assess the property for the presence of endangered species. Under the federal endangered species act, the landowners are required to minimise negative effects on the endangered species. You should consult Melbourne property lawyers to help you out in this as it is a legal matter and they will take care of it for you with ease.
Biologists will work with you to find a mutually satisfying way to allow work on the property to proceed without posing any risk to the red belly turtles nesting area. Another reason the red belly turtle is endangered is extensive use of the pesticide. Aquatic herbicide, a pesticide used in ponds to decrease pond vegetation affects the food source also disrupts their habitat. The presence of this species presents landowners with a great opportunity to help conserve biodiversity and save them from being extinct.