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Assisted Colonisation for Species Conservation
5 March, 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
Species with low reproductive rates, long generation times, and restricted ranges are particularly susceptible to climate change. One proposed solution for these species is assisted colonisation – the intentional translocation of species outside their historic range to mitigate a threat.
Australia’s rarest reptile, the Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina), is endemic to southwest Australia, and is a strong candidate for assisted colonisation. It has experienced extensive habitat loss and fragmentation, and its remaining seasonal wetland habitat is threatened by declining rainfall. Assisted colonisation trials exploring growth rates of turtles in cooler climate, commenced in 2016 with juveniles released south of their historic range.
This presentation will discuss the benefits and risks of assisted colonisation, with a focus on the critically endangered Western Swamp Tortoise.
With a particular interest in herpetology and conservation biology, our speaker, Bethany Nordstrom, came to Australia from Canada in 2020 to undertake her PhD at the University of Western Australia.
She completed her Masters of Biology at Dalhousie University, Canada, where she studied the predator-prey dynamics of leatherback sea turtles and jellyfish in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.