Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Critically Endangered
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2004d) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Western swamp tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) recovery plan (Burbidge, A.A., G. Kuchling, C. Olejnik & L. Mutter, 2010) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzq) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened reptiles. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.6 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011m) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (22/06/2004) (Gilbert's Potoroo, Western Swamp Tortoise) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2004d) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
WA:Fauna Species Profiles - Western Swamp Tortoise Pseudemydura umbrina (Siebenrock, 1901) (Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC), 2010p) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Critically Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Critically Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Pseudemydura umbrina [1760]
Family Chelidae:Testudines:Reptilia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Siebenrock,1901
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Pseudemydura umbrina

Common name: Western Swamp Tortoise

The species is the only member of the subfamily Pseudemydurinae (King et al. 1998).

The Western Swamp Tortoise is a brown turtle growing up to 150 mm in length with a squarish shell, flat and broad lower shell and a broad, flat head with a horny casque (helmet) (Cogger 2000). Males do not exceed a carapace length of 155 mm or a weight of 550 g; females are smaller and do not grow beyond 135 mm carapace length or a weight of 410 g (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). Hatchlings have a carapace length of 24–29 mm and weigh 3.2–6.6 g (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

The colour of Western Swamp Tortoise varies with age and swamp type. The shell of hatchlings are grey above and bright cream and black below. The carapace in adults is usually similar in colour to the swamp water and varies from medium yellow-brown in clay swamps to almost black with a maroon tinge in the black coffee-coloured water of sandy swamps (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

Historic distribution
The Western Swamp Tortoise has a very small geographic range. The species has only been recorded from scattered localities in a narrow strip (3–5 km wide) of the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia, roughly parallel with the Darling Range. The range spans from Perth Airport at Guilford to near Pearce Royal Australian Air Force Base at Bullsbrook (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

In the 1960s, Western Swamp Tortoises occurred near Midland, at Perth Airport, near Caversham and near Pearce. It is likely that this species also occurred at other localities between these sites (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). From the 1970s to the 1980s there were three known populations, two monitored at Ellen Brook Nature Reserve and Twin Swamps Nature Reserve on the Swan Coastal Plain north-east of Perth, and a third known only from the collection of a single juvenile in 1970 at Five Mile Swamp in the southern part of Perth Airport (Kuchling & Burbidge 1996).

Current distribution
The species currently occurs in a single viable population in the wild, with a further two populations maintained by supplementation with translocated individuals (TSSC 2004d). The Ellen Brook Nature Reserve population is the only viable, naturally occurring population in the wild. The Twin Swamps Nature Reserve and Mogumber Nature Reserve populations are maintained with translocated individuals (Cogger et al. 1993; King et al. 1998; Kuchling 1997; TSSC 2004d).

The Western Swamp Tortoise has undergone a severe reduction in numbers. The species declined from a population of greater than 250 in the 1960s to around 15–25 mature individuals in the late 1980s. The species currently occurs in a single viable population in the wild, with a further two populations currently being maintained by supplementation with translocated individuals from a captive bred population (TSSC 2004d).

Currently, Ellen Brook Nature Reserve is the only viable, naturally occurring population in the wild (Cogger et al. 1993; King et al. 1998; Kuchling 1997). At this site, the numbers of breeding adults dropped from about 15 in the 1960s to about 8 from 1979 to 1982 and then increased to about 20 in the 1990s. There are now an estimated 10–15 mature individuals amongst an estimated total of 30 individuals at the site. Recent increases in the total number of individuals largely reflect an increased number of hatchlings and small juveniles in the population (TSSC 2004d).

The population at Twin Swamps Nature Reserve was estimated at above 250 individuals in the early 1960s but declined to below ten individuals by 1984 (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). Supplementation began at the site in 1994 and currently contains only six mature individuals (TSSC 2004d).

The population at Mogumber Nature Reserve was established in August 2000 with the release of 6 captive-bred juvenile tortoises. A further 20 juveniles were released in August 2001. This population currently contains no mature individuals (TSSC 2004d).

In 1987, a captive breeding project was developed at Perth Zoo. In December 1998, Perth Zoo held 157 tortoises including 7 breeding males, 10 breeding females and 140 hatchlings, juveniles, sub-adults and non-breeding adults (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004, 2007).

In 1962, two small areas - Ellen Brook Swamp and Twin Swamp - were declared nature reserves to protect the tortoises' habitat. Both have since been enlarged by the purchase of adjacent areas, but both remain very small in terms of the tortoises' requirements (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). This species is also found in Mogumber Nature Reserve and, in August 2008, 24 individuals were released in Moore River Nature Reserve (DEC 2008).

Habitat critical for the survival of this species includes land within the fox-proof fenced areas at Twin Swamps Nature Reserve and Ellen Brook Nature Reserve; all land within Mogumber Nature Reserve; land in which surface water catchments extend outside of the nature reserves; any land where wild populations are detected in the future; and land targeted for the introduction or reintroduction of this species (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

The Western Swamp Tortoise is a long-lived (up to 100 years), slow-reproducing species (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007).

The smallest female known to produce eggs had a carapace length of 113 mm and was 10.5 years old. Her clutch consisted of a single egg. Another female, 18 years old, had a carapace length of 109 mm and had not yet ovulated (Kuchling & Bradshaw 1993). Females probably reach maturity at 10 to 15 years, but maturity may occur later in some individuals. There is some evidence that female sexual maturity is reached earlier at Twin Swamps Nature Reserve than Ellen Brook Nature Reserve (Burbidge 1981). The reproductive span of females seems to be at least 60 years (Kuchling & Bradshaw 1993). The smallest male observed copulating had a carapace length of 131 mm (Burbidge 1981).

Mating takes place only in water, occurring mostly in winter, and ending in the second half of September (King et al. 1998; Kuchling & DeJose 1989). Ovulation occurs between late September and early November with yolk formation occuring during summer while aestivating (King et al. 1998; Kuchling & Bradshaw 1993). Females require stored energy from their active period to allocate to eggs during aestivation (King et al. 1998). Females typically produce one clutch of 3–5 brittle-shelled eggs in November or early December (Kuchling & Bradshaw 1993).

Nesting has been recorded from late October to early December. Nesting occurs only in full daylight, and if nesting has not been completed by dusk, females may remain motionless on the nest until after dawn. Nesting usually occurs during cloudy conditions and is often associated with a low pressure system in the region. Nesting is preceeded by an increase in movements on land for up to 10 days before commencing to dig. Nests are constructed in full sunlight or part shade and are often next to a natural obstacle such as a grass tussock or log. During nest construction females are head down, with the entire body eventually in the nesting cavity. During oviposition and burying the nest, females face away from the cavity and appear alert (Kuchling 1993). All wild females observed nesting, commenced aestivation after nesting. Three wild females remained near the nest (0–2 m away) for 2–4 days before moving to an aestivation site (Kuchling 1993). Hatchlings emerge after 180 days incubation during May and June, as temperatures decrease (Burbidge 1981).

The Western Swamp Tortoise is restricted to feeding in winter and spring when the swamps hold water (King et al. 1998). Feeding only occurs when water temperatures are between 14 °C and 28 °C (King et al. 1998). During much of winter and early spring water temperatures may fall below 14 °C (King et al. 1998). The species is therefore forced to consume much of its food in early spring, growing and laying down fat for the coming summer (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007; Kuchling & DeJose 1989).

The inspection of one dead female and faeces indicates a carnivorous diet consisting of insects, insect larvae, aquatic crustaceans, tadpoles and aquatic earthworms (Burbidge 1981).

At the end of spring Western Swamp Tortoises move away from swamps to nearby aestivation sites (King et al. 1998). A corresponding movement back to the swamps occurs in early winter as they begin to fill again. As the species aestivates during summer and autumn, its activity is restricted to the cooler 5–6 months of the year, restricting the time available to feed, grow and reproduce. During the active period of the year, activity is reduced if temperatures fall below 14 °C (King et al. 1998).

Homing behaviour suggests the tortoises do have home ranges, but that individual home ranges may be larger than the reserves. At Twin Swamps Nature Reserve movements of up to 600 m have been recorded over two days (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). Some individuals from both nature reserves disperse onto adjacent private lands, particularly in dry years (Kuchling 1997). Dispersal upon swamp drying suggests that movements between swamps some distance apart may not have been uncommon in this species (Kuchling unpub. in Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

The Western Swamp Tortoise can be easily distinguished from the only other freshwater tortoise (or turtle occurring in south-west Western Australia by its short neck; the Oblong Tortoise (Chelodina oblonga) has a neck that is equal to or longer than the length of its shell (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004)).

The decline of the Western Swamp Tortoise is believed to be due to a combination of a restricted geographic range, habitat clearance for agriculture, urban and industrial development (including clay mining), increasing aridity (due to climate change), predation by foxes and other animals, inappropriate fire regimes and drainage of swamp habitat (Cogger et al. 1993; Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). Reserved areas that this species occurs in is very restricted in area and is described as marginal habitat (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). This species has a specialised biology and is dependant on a rare habitat, a wholly carnivorous diet, low fecundity and slow growth rates (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

Biology
This species has a number of biological factors that limit recruitment and population integrity including extremely low fecundity, 3–6 eggs per annum; only live food is eaten and not carrion or vegetable matter; food has a narrow seasonal availability; slow growth; and sexual maturity is reached at 10–15 years (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

Habitat clearance
The Swan Valley was the first part of Western Australia developed for intensive agriculture and, by the 1950s, much had been cleared, urbanised or mined for clay. That trend continues today (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). The Western Swamp Tortoise historically may have had a restricted range, however, most of this habitat has been modified in the past 170 years and remaining suitable habitat is small and marginal.

Climate Change
Climate change poses a potential challenge for the management of the Western Swamp Tortoise. Winter rainfall is considered to have declined significantly in Perth and it is predicted that this trend will continue. The Twin Swamps Nature Reserve in Warbrook has been greatly affected by Perth's increasingly dry winters (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). Rainfall is often not sufficient to create standing water throughout winter and spring. In particularly dry years, when swamps dry early, females may not reproduce, and juvenile mortality increases as hatchlings have not attained a size sufficient to survive dessication through the summer (> 20 g) (Kuchling et al. 1992). Therefore, two consecutive years of good rainfall are needed for recruitment to the population (Burbidge 1981).

Farm dams adjacent to Twin Swamps Nature Reserve pose a threat in years when swamps dry early. Tortoises are attracted to the dams and die from overheating while trying to find a way through fox-proof fencing (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

Predation
Predation of eggs by European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) may be important (Burbidge 1981). Hatchlings (about 25 mm long and weighing only 3–5 g) are also highly susceptible to predation (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). Hatchlings may be eaten by large wading birds such as the Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), White-faced Herons (Notophoyx novaehollandiae) and introduced Laughing Kookaburras (Burbidge 1981; Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). Recently, predation of juveniles by the Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), which have become more numerous in metropolitan Perth, has been recorded (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004, 2007).

Predation by foxes is believed to be a reason for the decline of the species (Cogger et al. 1993). Foxes prey on tortoises during the winter and spring, but it is during the summer, when the tortoises aestivate (sleep), that they are most susceptible. Aestivation sites vary - at Ellen Brooke Nature Reserve they are usually in naturally occurring tunnels in the clay soil, but at Twin Swamps Nature Reserve they are often on the surface under leaf litter. In the mid 1960s, there were more than 200 Western Swamp Tortoises at Twin Swamps, but by the late 1980s there were less than five and, while lower rainfall averages had some effect, fox predation is thought to have been the major cause of the fall in numbers (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004, 2007).

Predation by Black Rats (Rattus rattus) is a possible threat and is currently being investigated with an experimental rat control program in the nature reserves (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

Fire
At Twin Swamps Nature Reserve the species aestivates in leaf litter, making it vulnerable to fire during the aestivation period (Kuchling 1997).

A recovery team, comprising of scientists and managers from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Perth Zoo, the University of Western Australia, WWF Australia and the Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise, coordinates the implementation of the Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan(Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). The recovery team's aim is to have four or five secure, viable populations, rather than the one that currently exists. Threat abatement activities include habitat improvement, water supplementation, predator control, captive breeding, public education and fire management (Burbidge & Kuchling 1994, 2007).

Habitat loss
Habitat management is critical to the recovery of the Western Swamp Tortoise. The DEC intensively manage all three nature reserves where the species now occurs (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). The majority of suitable habitat has been lost to agriculture and the preserved habitat in Ellen Brook Nature Reserve and Twin Swamps Nature Reserve is of marginal quality (Kuchling 1997). The Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority has developed a policy on the tortoises to limit further development in surrounding areas (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). The recovery plan for the species outlines intentions to purchase private land surrounding Ellen Brook Nature Reserve and rehabilitate and improve habitat (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

In 2000, a valuable area of habitat was purchased and added to Mogumber Nature Reserve, 100 km north of Perth. The new area included three clay-based swamps that the recovery team considered to be suitable habitat for Western Swamp Tortoise. Introductions of the tortoises to Mogumber began in 2000. However, in December 2002 a very hot wildfire swept through the reserve, kiling all the Western Swamp Tortoises aestivating under vegatation on the surface. Most animals sheltering underground, including three tortoises in artificial tunnnels installed to provide aestivating habitat, survived. In 2006, there was a further setback when extreme drought meant there was no water in any of the swamps. Two other prospective translocation sites are being investigated. The first is within one of Perth Airport's conservation zones; the second is within Moore River Nature Reserve, 85 km north of Perth (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007). Research is underway to identify further sites for translocation, including the impact that climate change for a potential site's future suitability (Mitchell et al. 2013).

Habitat management
The management and stability of habitat, especially within and adjacent to nature reserves, is of particular importance for the Western Swamp Tortoise. The regulation and maintenence of the water quality and quantity of water within habitat is essential to avoid dessication, maintain food production and allow for reproduction to occur. Water levels are particularly affected by drought during years of low rainfall and only during high rainfall years does this species feed sufficiently to survive the summer aestivation period (Burbidge & Kuching 2004).

Climate Change
A bore was drilled in 1994 so water could be pumped into one of the swamps in dry years. Recently, the winter rains have been so low that it has had to be used almost every winter and spring. In some years, the only one of the six major swamps at Twin Swamps Nature Reserve with water in it has been the one that is being augmented with groundwater. Because of increasing concern about the ability of Twin Swamps Nature Reserve to maintain a viable Western Swamp Tortoise population, the DEC recently called in hydrological consultants to advise on surface and groundwater management (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007).

The construction of small dams within reserves, and regular fence patrols aims to alleviate the threat of Western Swamp Tortoise's leaving reserves for nearby farm dams during dry periods and, subsequently, dying from over-heating (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).

Predation
Electrified fencing and removal of foxes began at Ellen Brook Nature Reserve in 1991 and Twin Swamps Nature Reserve in 1994 (Kuchling 1997). Numbers of adults at Ellen Brook Nature Reserve now appear to be slowly increasing following the construction of the fence (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). One-way tortoise gates, allowing tortoises to enter the reserves but keeping foxes out, have also been constructed (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). A baiting program exists for foxes, cats and the introduced black rat (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007).

Captive breeding
Captive breeding has been very important to produce animals that can be translocated to develop self-sustaining wild populations. In 1987, a captive breeding project was developed at Perth Zoo. Over the following years, better husbandry, improved facilities and the dedication of staff have led to captive breeding becoming almost routine with 40 or more hatchlings being added to the colony each year. The growing season in captivity is longer than in the wild and, three years after hatching, most young tortoises have grown to more than 100 grams, the size at which the recovery team considers them large enough to be released. Early in the captive breeding program, the tortoises were translocated to Twin Swamps Nature Reserve, to augment the very small surviving wild population. Some of these tortoises have now attained reproductive size and some females are known to have developed eggs, but no hatchlings have yet been found (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007).

Education
The Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise are involved in education and information dissemination to raise public awareness of the species plight (Burbidge & Kuchling 2007).

Future actions
A number ot future management actions are identified in the National Recovery Plan for the Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina)including (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004):

  • management of Ellen Brook Nature Reserve
  • management of Twin Swamps Nature Reserve
  • management of Mogumber Nature Reserve
  • monitoring of water depths and water chemistry
  • tortoise population monitoring
  • maintenance and establishment of further captive breeding colonies
  • translocate to existing sites and further sites, including Perth Airport, swamps on the east side of Peel Inlet, RAAF land west of Pearce, Caversham RAAF land, Drummond Nature Reserve and Dobaderry Swamp.

The National Recovery Plan for the Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) provides a comprehensive review of the management and recovery of this species (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). The Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox provides management actions for the control of foxes (EA 1999a).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Fertiliser application Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Reduced rainfall caused by climate change Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification, destruction and alteration due to changes in land use patterns Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2004d) [Listing Advice].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities The Action Plan for Australian Reptiles (Cogger, H.G., E.E. Cameron, R.A. Sadlier & P. Eggler, 1993) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2004d) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus norvegicus (Brown Rat, Norway Rat) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2004d) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus rattus (Black Rat, Ship Rat) Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2004d) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or predation by birds Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2004d) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, grazing, predation and/or habitat degradation by mammals The ecology of the Western Swamp Tortoise, Pseudemydura umbrina (Testudines, Chelidae). International Zoo Yearbook. 28:103-109. (Burbidge, A.A., 1981) [Journal].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes in hydrology including habitat drainage Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2004d) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Plan:1-37. (Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].

Burbidge, A. (1983). A very rare Australian: the Western Swamp Tortoise. Australian Natural History. 21:14-17.

Burbidge, A.A. (1981). The ecology of the Western Swamp Tortoise, Pseudemydura umbrina (Testudines, Chelidae). International Zoo Yearbook. 28:103-109.

Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling (1994). Western swamp tortoise recovery plan. Western Australian Wildlife Mangement. Prog. 11. [Online]. Perth: CALM. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/swamp-tortoise/index.html.

Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling (2004). National Recovery Plan for the Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina). [Online]. Perth: Department of Conservation and Land Management. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/p-umbrina/index.html.

Burbidge, A.A. & G. Kuchling (2007). The Western Swamp Tortoise - 50 years on. Landscope. 22(4):24-29.

Cogger, H.G. (2000). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia - 6th edition. Sydney, NSW: Reed New Holland.

Cogger, H.G., E.E. Cameron, R.A. Sadlier & P. Eggler (1993). The Action Plan for Australian Reptiles. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Australian Nature Conservation Agency. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/action/reptiles/index.html.

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) (2008). Western Swamp tortoises released at Moore River Nature Reserve. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/news/department-of-environment-and-conservation/western-swamp-tortoises-released-at-moore-river-nature-reserve.html.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011m). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened reptiles. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.6 . [Online]. Canberra, ACT: DSEWPaC. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/threatened-reptiles.html.

Environment Australia (EA) (1999a). Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox. [Online]. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/foxes08.html.

King, J.M., G. Kuchling, & S.D. Bradshaw (1998). Thermal environment, behavior, and body condition of wild Pseudemydura umbrina (Testudines: Chelidae) during late winter and early spring. Herpetologica. 54 (1):103-112.

Kuchling, G. (1997). Managing the last survivors: integration of in situ and ex situ conservation of Pseudemydura umbrina. In: Proceedings: Conservation, Restoration, and Management of Tortoises and Turtles - an International Conference. Page(s) 339-344. New York Turtle and Tortoise Society.

Kuchling, G. & A.A. Burbidge (1996). Survey of the Western Swamp Tortoise and its habitat at the Perth Airport. Federal Airports Corporation and ANCA. Subiaco: Chelonia Enterprises.

Kuchling, G. & J.P. DeJose (1989). A captive breeding operation to rescue the critically endangered Western swamp turtle. International Zoo Yearbook. 28:103-109.

Kuchling, G. & S.D. Bradshaw (1993). Ovarian cycle and egg production of the western swamp tortoise Pseudemydura umbrina (Testudines: Chelidae) in the wild and in captivity. Journal of Zoology, London. 229:405-419.

Kuchling, G., J.P. DeJose, A.A. Burbidge & S.D. Bradshaw (1992). Beyond captive breeding: the Western swamp tortoise Pseudemydura umbrina recovery programme. International Zoo Yearbook. 31:37-41.

Mitchell, N., M.R. Hipsey, S. Arnall, G. McGrath, H.B. Tareque, G. Kuchling, R. Vogwill, M. Sivapalan, W.P. Porter & M.R. Kearney (2013). Linking Eco-Energetics and Eco-Hydrology to Select Sites for the Assisted Colonization of Australia’s Rarest Reptile. Biology. 2:1-25.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2004d). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise). [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/western-swamp-tortoise.html.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Pseudemydura umbrina in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 3 Oct 2014 03:38:42 +1000.