Record number of hatchlings gives critically endangered Australian tortoise a boost

The population of the western swamp tortoise has been boosted this year due to the record number of hatchlings being born at Perth Zoo.

Endemic to south-west West Australia, this critically endangered species is classified as Australia’s most endangered reptile and had been thought extinct until its re-discovery in 1953.

Perth Zoo revealed that it has successfully bred 65 hatchlings this season, making it a record for the conservation programme. 73 tortoises bred at the zoo have also recently been released into the wild and 48 were fitted with radio transmitters and data loggers so that researchers can track their movements and collect data on the releases’ success.

Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said: “This record year is a milestone worth celebrating for the western swamp tortoise conservation efforts and is a testament to the hard work of the staff at DBCA, Perth Zoo and all scientific researchers and volunteers involved.”

“It’s wonderful to watch this collaborative breed-for-release program become more successful each year as it works to safeguard this rare and unique West Australian species.”

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