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Emydura macquarii sub-species

Discussion in 'Turtle Identification' started by Rodney, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Rodney

    Rodney Hatchling Turtle

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    Hi Craig and Kevin,

    Are the Emydura macquarii subspecies dharuk, gunaburra and signata valid ? I would guess there is lot of hybridisation. But if the pure forms were obtained, is it a worthwhile endeavour to maintain their genetic integrity or are the really just Emydura macquarii? Thanks.
     
  2. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Super Moderator
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    Hey Rodney, I just got to work. Craig would be able to give you the best answer here. Technically speaking, they're all forms of the Murray River turtle that have evolved into their own specific forms due to locality. Take Murrays and Macleays, (dharra) for example... they're "technically" the same thing... however, Macleays only get to 18.5cm, less than half that of Murrays, their eyes are a totally different colour, the shell shape and profile is totally different. True Murray River turtles aren't native to and shouldn't be found in the Macleay River.
    Unfortunately for Emydura macquarii gunaburra and Emydura macquarii signata, Murrays have been recorded in the Hunter river and Brisbane River systems which is a huge problem. They've also been documented in the Bellinger and Manning rivers.

    Many Emydura macquarii krefftii populations have also been tainted by introduced Murrays.

    Emydura macquarii dharuk AKA the Sydney basin turtle always was and will be a mixed bag because there never was a native short-necked species in the Sydney area. It basically was a man made species, the result of unwanted, introduced dumped pets that produced a man-made mongrel hybrid.

    Emydura macquarii gunaburra (Hunter river turtles) and Emydura macquarii signata (Brisbane River turtles) are two totally separate sub-species identifiable by their own characteristics. If pure/typical individuals were obtained from their native localities, their integrity could be preserved, yes.

    With the forever changing taxonomy, it's sometimes difficult to keep up! My understanding is that there are currently only 3 recognised sub-species and they are:
    Emydura macquarii krefftii - Krefft's turtles
    Emydura macquarii emmotti - Cooper Creek turtles
    Emydura macquarii nigra - Fraser Island short-neck turtles.
    The rest are considered by the "paper pushers" as Murrays... which if you ask me, is ridiculous!

    Craig will add to this no doubt some time today. :)
     
  3. Rodney

    Rodney Hatchling Turtle

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    Hi Kevin

    Thanks for clarifying that. Reluctantly there is the need to rely on the honesty and diligence of the person supplying the turtles. At least then there is some hope with concentration on typical individuals for the particular locality to maintain the genetic integrity.
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Hi Rodney, unfortunately it is way too late for that already! I've seen and mentioned on here private breeders selling Macleay X Kreffts to pet shops, Murray X Brisbane River turtles as well as Murray River turtles dumped into dozens of rivers and other waterways where they do not belong. Not only are they screwing up populations of other Emydura, but they are also trying to interbreed with other unrelated species altogether and push other species to the brink of extinction by out-breeding them and out-competing with them for territory and food.
    Due to the pet industry, $$$$$ and State Wildlife lackadaisical rules and regulations, particularly in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, the genetic integrity of all Emydura species has become tainted and the situation is irreversible.

    For some reason NSW is the only wildlife authority that recognises sub-species whereas it's always been a free for all as far as QLD, SA and Vic are concerned as they are unwilling to recognise that they have created a problem by allowing the interbreeding of sub-species. This practice is very strange, particularly in QLD, where the QLD Museum recognises and documents sub-species whereas State Government Wildlife regulators have chosen to ignore sub-species. They have really single handedly stuffed genetically pure species in captivity which has now created huge irreversible problems in the wild. Well done to all the pen pushing desk jockey bureaucrats sitting in their offices that made these nonsensical decisions! (:applause)Give yourselves an uppercut! If our Minister for the Environment had half a brain he would sack the lot of you and engage the help of experts to try to stop this from spreading throughout the rest of the country.
     
  5. Rodney

    Rodney Hatchling Turtle

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    Hi Craig

    Thanks. It's a problem , something akin to genetic vandalism. Surely though there must be some genetically pure captive populations of Emydura macquarii gunaburra and Emydura macquarii signata, older specimens acquired prior to the genetic mixing. Or perhaps not.

    I was aware 30 years ago of Emydura turtles in the Sydney environ but had always believed they were endemic rather than invasive. Their proliferation as Kevin states in the Hunter River, Sydney and Lisarow as per AFT thread is astounding.