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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Dreamtime Turtle rediscovered

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, September 1, 2014/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, sustainability, art and design, environment

It's a good thing whenever a species thought extinct is rediscovered. A new find from a remote corner of northeastern Australia, the Jardine River painted turtle, may have a long history.

Northern Queensland consists of wild bushland, rivers, and upland terrain. The Jardin River painted turtle had been thought extinct due to predation by feral pigs and had not been seen for nearly 20 years. A team of wildlife managers, indigenous people, and energy company engineers re-discovered the turtles during a wildlife training program living in several billabongs (creeks) of the  Jardine River National Park  on the top of Cape York. Team members are erecting temporary fencing to prevent the the nesting turtles pigs from savaging turtle eggs during the wet season.

Re-discovered Jardine River painted turtle, Cape York, Australia (credit: ANGFA )

Indigenous ranger Warren Strevens, involved with the rediscovery, said the new finds were especially important for local Aboriginal people: “They’re definitely sacred to one of the clan groups here. They have a ( Dreamtime ) storyline about that turtle as well, so there’s a lot of significance in this find for the local region."

Dreamtime Pictograph, northern Australia  (credit: SWP Media)

20,000 years ago aboriginal people in northern Australia created rock art depicting their world and the creatures around them. Each animal was a totem for an indigenous clan. It's hard to say if their pictographs show a Jardine River turtle but it is a a nice thought with their re-discovery.



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