Bellinger River Emydura (Emydura macquarii) Recovery Plan

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, July 2001
ISBN 0 731 36367 1

12.0 Recovery actions

12.1 Survey and research

  1. Monitoring of the recruitment of juveniles and subadults into the population will be undertaken using a combination of trapping and nest marking. This will be undertaken in conjunction with monitoring the effectiveness of fox control outlined in the NSW Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the Red Fox (NPWS in prep), in which the Bellinger River Emydura has been identified as a high priority species for management actions. (Objectives 3 and 6/Performance criteria 3 and 6).
  1. Further research to provide information concerning the biology and ecology of the Bellinger River Emydura relevant to the management of threats and the conservation of the taxon is supported. Research priorities are:
    • long term studies to determine specific habitat requirements;
    • DNA analysis to determine if the Bellinger River Emydura is a distinctive sub-group of Emydura macquarii or if it has been introduced from elsewhere;
    • determination of the full impact of external threats, including fox predation;
    • determination of the extent of interspecific competition between the Bellinger River Elseya and the Bellinger River Emydura; and
    • extended dietary analysis of the Bellinger River Elseya and the Bellinger River Emydura, including prey availability and ecology. (Objectives 3 and 6/Performance criteria 3 and 6).

Outcome

Increased knowledge of distribution of the taxon and its habitat, monitoring of recruitment levels, and collection of additional information to assist in the conservation and management of the taxon and its habitat.

12.2 Protection of population and habitat

  1. Bellingen Shire Council (BSC) and determining authorities considering proposed developments and activities upstream and in the vicinity of known sites of the Bellinger River Emydura, and in areas of potential habitat, will consider potential impacts on the taxon, including impacts on water quality, river sediment load and riparian vegetation. (Objectives 4-6/Performance criteria 4-6).
  1. NPWS will recommend to relevant approval authorities that proposed logging activities on private lands upstream and in the vicinity of known sites of the Bellinger River Emydura, and in areas of potential habitat, will require riparian buffers and other relevant soil erosion and water quality protection measures equivalent to those observed by . (Objectives 4-6/Performance criteria 4-6).
  1. Identify areas of riparian vegetation that require remedial works upstream and in the vicinity of known sites of the Bellinger River Emydura, and in areas of potential habitat, and encourage and provide support to landowners undertaking measures to protect, manage and enhance riparian vegetation. (Objectives 4-6/Performance criteria 4-6).
  1. Authorities with responsibility for management of the Bellinger River catchment will consider inclusion of protection of water quality and habitat values as primary strategic outcomes. (Objectives 4-6/Performance criteria 4-6).
  1. NPWS will liaise with NSW Fisheries regarding riverine habitat management activities such as desnagging in the vicinity of known sites and in areas of potential habitat of the Bellinger River Emydura. (Objective 6/Performance criterion 6).
  1. Monitoring and protection of water quality in the upper Bellinger River catchment will be supported. (Objectives 5 and 6/Performance criteria 5 and 6).
  1. Control of foxes in the vicinity of known sites of the Bellinger River Emydura will be undertaken. The Bellinger River Emydura has been identified as a high priority species for fox control under the NSW Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the Red Fox (NPWS in prep.) (Objectives 4 and 6/Performance criteria 4 and 6).

Outcome

Increased protection of taxon and its habitat.

12.3 Community awareness and involvement

  1. Development and implementation of a community education and awareness program to encourage community awareness concerning the status of the Bellinger River Emydura and to provide information concerning threats, and actions which can be taken to control threats. NPWS, in consultation with other authorities, will prepare a brochure for distribution in the local community with the following components:
    • promote the Bellinger River Emydura as a flagship species for ecologically sustainable management of the Bellinger River catchment;
    • provide information concerning the value and management of riparian vegetation;
    • provide information concerning the potential impact on the Bellinger River Emydura of the release of pet or captive Emydura macquarii into the Bellinger River catchment;
    • encourage and assist the community to identify and report additional sites supporting the Bellinger River Emydura; and
    • provide information concerning the potential impact on the Bellinger River Emydura of line fishing, particularly the use of stainless steel hooks (which do not rust). (Objectives 1, 2 and 4-6/Performance criteria 1, 2 and 4-6).
  1. Activities by the community to improve water quality in the Bellinger catchment will be encouraged. (Objectives 1 and 5/Performance criteria 1 and 5).

Outcome

Increased community awareness of the Bellinger River Emydura and involvement in its recovery.

13.0 Implementation

Table 1 allocates responsibility for the implementation of recovery actions specified in this plan to relevant government agencies for a period of five years from the time this recovery plan is adopted.

14.0 Preparation details

This document was prepared by Michael Murphy and Shane Ruming, Threatened Species Officers NPWS Northern Directorate in consultation with the Bellinger Catchment Management Committee. Background information and assistance was provided by Ross Sadlier, Ricky-John Spencer, John Cann and Stephen Hull.

15.0 Review date

This Recovery Plan will be reviewed within five years of the date of publication.