You may think they're abundant, but the eastern long-neck turtles that frequent the area, particularly on Cowra roads after rain are actually in serious trouble, according to Eleanor Lang.
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Ms Lang is an ecologist with Australian National University focusing on biodiversity on farms in the Cowra region.
"Globally, turtles are the most endangered group of species alongside primates," Ms Lang said.
While many turtles are killed on our roads, surprisingly, the major hidden threat to many Australian turtles is actually nest destruction by foxes.
Foxes are thought to destroy over 90 per cent of long-necked turtle nests every year.
Nests are often laid after rain from late spring through summer, and can contain up to 20 eggs.
Any hatchling that makes the dangerous journey back to water will then need to survive up to 10 years before they can breed.
Adults can live at least 50 years, so a repeated loss of new generations has created significantly aged populations.
"This undercutting of new generations by foxes, combined with increasing adult mortality, means our turtles are now vulnerable to extinction if no action is taken," Ms Lang said.
"In the face of more frequent high-mortality events like drought and bushfires, the species' ability 'bounce back' is now severely compromised."
In light of their declining numbers Ms Lang is asking local residents to take actions which she hopes will ensure their survival. The first step she says, is being awareness there is even something to worry about.
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