In the past 2 weeks we have had 4 turtle hatchlings brought to WA Gould League at the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, after people have come across them on their daily strolls. Right now (August – September) is a peak time for the Oblong or Western long-neck turtle (Chelodina colliei) to be out and about after their long incubation period (220 days from laying).
If you do see a hatchling, don’t panic because you can’t find its parents, the mum and dad are long gone, nearly 7 months ago! After laying the eggs the female has finished her parenting role and the male didn’t even come out of the lake for that bit!
If you find a hatchling around the lake please leave it in place, unless it is in danger, trapped or injured. It will find its way to the water by instinct. If you find one out on the road and you want to help out, take it to the lake’s edge, near some fringing vegetation so they have some degree of protection from predation (Egrets, Swamphens etc.) and let it be free. If you spot an injured turtle, please call WildCare on (08) 9474 9055.
Also remember, the cycle is about to start again, with females leaving freshwater lakes all around Perth (starts approx. October/November), looking for a nice spot to lay the next lot of eggs. So remember to keep your dog on a lead, and if you are driving, slow down if you are in the car (lots get run over crossing the road) and enjoy one of Perth’s natural spectacles.