Native turtles in New South Wales

New South Wales (NSW), Australia, enjoys a variety of climates and habitats, including coastal areas, forests, rivers, and wetlands, which support a diverse array of native turtle species.

Here’s a detailed overview of the native turtle species found in New South Wales:

Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

Also known as the snake-necked turtle, this species is widespread throughout eastern Australia, including NSW. It is noted for its distinctive long neck and carnivorous diet.

Murray River Turtle (Emydura macquarii)

Also known as the Macquarie turtle or Murray short-necked turtle, this species inhabits the Murray-Darling river system and prefers slow-moving waters like rivers, ponds, and lakes.

Bellinger River Turtle (Myuchelys georgesi)

This critically endangered species is endemic to the Bellinger River in NSW. It has faced significant threats from disease, which drastically reduced its population.

Sydney Basin Turtle (Emydura macquarii dharuk)

A subspecies of the Murray River Turtle, found specifically in the Sydney Basin area, adapted to the unique aquatic environments of this region.

Broad-shelled Turtle (Chelodina expansa)

Found in the Murray-Darling Basin, this turtle prefers deeper water like large rivers and lakes, and has a broader shell compared to other Chelodina species.

Native turtles in Victoria

Victoria, Australia, features a variety of climates and habitats, including significant river systems, wetlands, and coastal regions, which support a diverse array of native turtle species.

Here’s a detailed overview of the native turtle species found in Victoria:

Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

Widespread across Victoria, this turtle is notable for its long neck and primarily carnivorous diet. It inhabits ponds, rivers, and lakes.

Murray River Turtle (Emydura macquarii)

Also known as the Macquarie turtle or Murray short-necked turtle, this species is prevalent throughout the Murray-Darling Basin, which extends into Victoria. It favors slow-moving waters such as creeks, rivers, and ponds.

Broad-shelled Turtle (Chelodina expansa)

This turtle prefers the deeper, larger rivers and lakes, particularly in the northern parts of Victoria. It has a notably broader shell than other Chelodina species.

Native turtles in Queensland

Queensland, Australia, with its diverse ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforests to riverine and coastal areas, hosts a wide variety of native turtle species. This region’s warm climate and abundant water bodies provide ideal conditions for a large and varied turtle population.

Here’s a detailed overview of the native turtle species found in Queensland:

Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

Found in various freshwater habitats across Queensland, this turtle is noted for its distinctly long neck and carnivorous diet.

Murray River Turtle (Emydura macquarii)

Also known as the Macquarie turtle or Murray short-necked turtle, prevalent in the Murray-Darling Basin extending into southern Queensland. It inhabits rivers, lakes, and ponds.

Brisbane Short-necked Turtle (Emydura macquarii signata)

A subspecies of the Murray River Turtle, this turtle is native to the coastal rivers of southern Queensland.

Saw-shelled Turtle (Myuchelys latisternum)

Native to northeastern New South Wales and eastern Queensland, this turtle lives in rivers and streams, easily recognized by the saw-toothed rear edge of its shell.

Krefft’s River Turtle (Emydura macquarii krefftii)

Another subspecies of the Murray River Turtle, found specifically in Queensland’s river systems.

Credit: Wikipedia

Fitzroy River Turtle (Rheodytes leukops)

This species is notable for its ability to absorb oxygen through its cloaca, which allows it to stay underwater for extended periods. It is endemic to the Fitzroy River in Queensland.

Credit: Wikipedia

Northern Snapping Turtle (Elseya dentata)

Found in northern Australia, including Queensland, this species inhabits deep rivers and lakes.

Credit: Wikipedia

white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula)

A recently described species that lives in the waterways of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland.

Native turtles in Western Australia

Western Australia, with its extensive and varied landscapes that include vast deserts, lush forests, and long stretches of coastline, hosts a distinctive array of turtle species. This state’s climate ranges from tropical in the north to temperate in the south, providing suitable habitats for different turtle species.

Here’s a detailed overview of the native turtle species found in Western Australia:

Credit: Wikipedia

Western Swamp Turtle (Pseudemydura umbrina)

This extremely rare species is found only in the swamps near Perth under specific hydrological conditions. It is critically endangered, mainly due to its very restricted habitat range and environmental threats.

Credit: Wikipedia

Oblong Turtle (Chelodina oblonga)

Known locally as the Oblong Turtle and found across the southwest of Western Australia. This species prefers permanent freshwater environments such as swamps, lakes, and slow-moving rivers.

Flatback Sea Turtle (Natator depressus)

Although this sea turtle nests primarily in Northern Australia, it is also found in Western Australian waters. Unique among sea turtles, the Flatback’s distribution is confined to Australian waters only.

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Common in the tropical and subtropical waters of Western Australia, especially in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta)

These turtles frequent Western Australian coastal waters and are known for nesting on the beaches of the Pilbara region.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Found in the coral reefs of Western Australia, particularly in the north, hawksbill turtles are critically endangered globally.

Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Occasionally seen in Western Australian waters, leatherbacks are the largest of all living turtles and are highly migratory.

Native turtles in South Australia

South Australia, with its diverse ecosystems ranging from the arid Outback to lush coastal areas, supports a variety of native turtle species predominantly in its riverine and wetland habitats.

Here’s a detailed overview of the native turtle species found in South Australia:

Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

Also known as the long-necked turtle, this species is common in various freshwater habitats across South Australia. They are noted for their long necks, which can be as long as their shells.

Murray River Turtle (Emydura macquarii)

Also known as the Macquarie turtle or Murray short-necked turtle, this species is prevalent throughout the Murray-Darling Basin, which stretches into South Australia. It prefers slow-moving waters such as rivers, creeks, and lakes.

Broad-shelled Turtle (Chelodina expansa)

This species is found in the deeper, larger rivers and lakes within the Murray-Darling Basin area, extending into South Australia. It is distinguished by its relatively large and broad shell.

Native turtles in Tasmania

Tasmania does not have any turtle species that are originally native to the island. The turtles that are occasionally found, like the Common Snapping Turtle, are introduced either accidentally or through human activities.

Native turtles in Northern Territory

The Northern Territory (NT) of Australia, with its tropical and subtropical climates, encompasses vast river systems, wetlands, and coastal regions that provide ideal habitats for a diverse array of native turtle species.

Here’s a detailed overview of the native turtle species found in the Northern Territory:

Flatback Sea Turtle (Natator depressus)

Primarily marine but closely associated with coastal areas for nesting; exclusively found in Australian waters.

Credit: Wikipedia

Northern Snapping Turtle (Elseya dentata)

Found in the rivers and lakes of the Northern Territory, particularly in clear, flowing waters.

Pig-nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta)

Unique for its pig-like snout, this species inhabits rivers and streams, and its range extends into the Northern Territory.

Credit: Wikipedia

Red-faced Turtle (Emydura australis)

A species found in the Kimberley region which extends into the Northern Territory, inhabiting freshwater environments.

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Found in the coastal waters of the Northern Territory, these turtles are frequent visitors to the shores for nesting purposes.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Common in the reefs of the Northern Territory, known for their beautiful and highly valuable shells.

Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

Known for their mass nesting called arribada, they visit the beaches of the Northern Territory to lay eggs.

Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Although less common, the largest of all living turtles visits Northern Territory waters occasionally.

Credit: Wikipedia

white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula)

Also known as Australian Snapping Turtle. Found in the rivers and estuaries of Northern Australia including parts of the Northern Territory.