Australian Mary River Turtle to Face Extinction

Australian-Mary-River-Turtle-to-Face-Extinction

Researchers reveal that Mary River turtles will face extinction in the near future, according to a report published on April 11, 2018.

Vertical strands of algae grows on the body of Mary River turtle and its face furniture is in the form of long fleshy barbels under its chin. The ability to breathe through its genitals is the most unusual feature of this turtle. It has gill-like organs within its cloaca, which is an orifice used by reptiles for excretion and mating. This turtle with a length of 40 cm is found in the Mary River in in Queensland, Australia.

Historically, this turtle was a popular pet, as it had a very compliant nature. In the 1960s and 1970s its nest sites were mercilessly pillaged for pet trade. This turtle is one of the world’s most endangered turtle species. It was among one of the species to be featured in the Zoological Society of London (ZSL’s) Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (Edge) Reptiles list. The unusual species at risk of extinction are awarded with a threat score and for this, a complex formula is used by the Edge program.

Among 572 reptiles in the league table, the Mary River turtle is ranked as number 30. Rikki Gumbs, coordinator of Edge reptiles said, “Reptiles often receive the short end of the stick in conservation terms, compared with the likes of birds and mammals. However, the Edge reptiles list highlights just how unique, vulnerable and amazing these creatures really are.” Amphibians, birds, corals and mammals have been published in the list of Edge where each species was given a score. This score is given considering the risk of extinction and how much isolated the species is.

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