Digging Deep for Australia's Most Endangered Reptile

Posted on 08 Jul 2015

Four Midland Brick employees volunteered to plant out the ponds at Perth Zoo's new Western Swamp Tortoise Breeding Facility recently.

The team worked alongside Senior Keeper, Lesley Shaw and planted 178 seedlings in eight ponds, all of which are adapted to wetland conditions, perfect for these swamp loving creatures.

Midland Brick Volunteer Pond Planting

The plants are super important for not only providing shelter and shade for the Tortoises, but they will attract insects, providing live feed for them!

This species was once thought to be extinct until a schoolboy made a chance discovery in the 1950s. In the 1980s there was estimated to be less than 30 Western Swamp Tortoises left in the wild, but thanks to the efforts of Perth Zoo and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, new populations have been established in the Moore River Nature Reserve, Mogumber Nature Reserve, Ellen Brook Nature Reserve and the Twin Swamps Nature Reserve. 

Perth Zoo has the single biggest population of Western Swamp Tortoise found anywhere in the world. In fact they've bred over 800 Western Swamp Tortoise and released more than 600 back to the wild!

The new breeding complex, funded by the State Government, used in-kind contributions of building materials from Midland Brick. As part of Perth Zoo's Native Species Breeding, this facility will care for over 200 of these little guys at any one time, giving them a fighting chance at survival. Without the breeding program which takes place at Perth Zoo, it is likely that this species would no longer be on our planet.

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