Parents asked to teach conservation after south western snake-necked turtles attacked in Wagin

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenGreat Southern Herald
A number of snake-necked turtles have been left dead in Wagin’s Wetlands Park.
Camera IconA number of snake-necked turtles have been left dead in Wagin’s Wetlands Park. Credit: Gary Tate/RegionalHUB

Wagin parents are being asked to teach their children about the importance of conservation after a spate of attacks on local turtles.

The Shire of Wagin issued a public notice last week after receiving “disturbing” reports of several south western snake-necked turtles being killed and left floating in the water at Wetlands Park.

Shire CEO Bill Atkinson said that despite the park being a popular spot for tourists, he believed it was likely local children or those visiting relatives who were behind the attacks.

“When you get school holidays, kids and a body of water, these sort of incidents can happen,” he said.

“These kids may not know any better.”

The council has received reports which suggest drop nets have been used to catch the turtles, which have then been brutalised with sticks.

Mr Atkinson said it was unacceptable behaviour.

“There are less than one hundred (turtles) in the pond and we would like to conserve the species for future generations,” he said.

He encouraged parents of children who were potentially involved to find other ways to keep them occupied.

“Boys of a certain age often like to go hunting and I think they would be better off going after feral pests such as rabbits,” Mr Atkinson said.

The south western snake-necked turtle is classified as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

It is found in various parts of the South West, from near Jurien Bay in the north to Fitzgerald River National Park in the east.

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