Assessing the abundance of freshwater turtles in an Australian urban landscape
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Although interest in the ecological impacts of urbanisation has increased, very little is known about its impacts on freshwater turtles in Australia. This study investigated the abundance and diversity of turtles in lakes in an urbanised subtropical landscape, Brisbane, Australia. It was found that turtles were abundant throughout the lakes surveyed, with four native species and one introduced species being detected. A total of 371 individuals were captured, 77.7% of which were Brisbane River turtle (Emydura macquarii signata). The lakes surveyed were estimated to support a population of 63-269 individuals for all species combined with most lake populations containing less than 100. Turtle demographics may be classed into three stages of population growth: recovery or nascent; intermediate; and climax. Turtle reproductive success is a major concern for the survival of turtles in urban areas. Continued monitoring is needed to establish if population declines are occurring. This study suggests that while turtles are persisting in this urban environment of Australia the pressures of urbanisation, such as habitat loss, increased predation on both nests and juveniles and pollution of waterways may pose on-going risks to their survival.
© 2009 Springer Netherlands. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com