1 Million Turtles Community Conservation Program
1 Million Turtles Community Conservation Program
This page is tailored for agencies actively engaged in fox management aligned with wildlife conservation initiatives. Here, we outline the potential of using the various tools and approaches designed by the 1 Million Turtles program to further strengthen and evaluate fox management interventions and enhance freshwater turtle conservation efforts across Australia.
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Partnering with the 1 Million Turtles program provides your agency with access to national data on turtle hotspots, and tools and approaches that were developed based on sound scientific principles.
Here's a quick overview of the three tools that were designed by the 1 Million Turtles program team and how they can be leveraged for fox management.
(1) Turtle Nest Predictor Tool: This user-friendly online tool uses advanced mapping and vegetation data to identify potential turtle nesting sites in your local area. This tool can be used to identify and prioritise target areas for fox management.
(2) National Nest Predation Survey (NNPS) and TurtleSAT: The NNPS provides a standardised approach to investigate the extent of fox activity in your local area. This survey can be carried out on most landscapes, including private properties or areas near waterbodies. You can use the ‘Turtle Nest Predictor Tool’ to identify suitable areas to set up your surveys. The survey data can then be entered to the TurtleSAT app. TurtleSAT is available as a free download for both Android and iPhones, including a desktop version.
The following sections will explore these options in more detail.
The National Nest Predation Survey (NNPS) can be conducted all year-round (except in November during turtle nesting season) and is suitable for application as a citizen science tool. This survey uses a standardised approach to investigate the impact of foxes on freshwater turtle populations in Australia. It can be set up at various locations as long as you have the necessary approvals. You can use the ‘Turtle Nest Predictor Tool’ to help you identify turtle nesting hotspots to set up the surveys, facilitating targeted fox management interventions.
To set up, you will need some chicken eggs and equipment to create artificial turtle nests in a plot that measures 20 m by 20 m. You can also set up wildlife cameras to capture photographic evidence to monitor activity at the survey plot. The survey process runs for three weeks.
You can carry out this survey before and after engaging in fox management, or even proactively at certain times of the year to enable early detection of changes in fox activity, including increased presence, unusual behaviour, or identify previously unoccupied areas. Data from this survey will be entered to TurtleSAT.
The NNPS data in TurtleSAT identifies the broader impacts of foxes on various ecosystems and species, extending beyond just turtles. The survey is applicable to various landscapes, a versatility that enables agencies to refine their fox management strategies. It helps pinpoint areas and times of high fox activity, optimising resource allocation for trapping, baiting, fox proof fencing and habitat restoration.
The NNPS was designed by researchers and has approval from relevant ‘Animal Ethics Committee’, making it applicable across Australia. Together, the NNPS and TurtleSAT enable long-term and consistent fox activity monitoring, facilitating trend analysis.
NNPS offers a standardised approach - using set durations, artificial turtle nests (with chicken eggs), and strategic camera placement, it captures consistent and comparable data. This consistency enables robust pre- and post-management comparisons.
Wildlife cameras placed before and after interventions provide continuous monitoring, capturing images and videos of fox activity. This visual evidence helps assess intervention effectiveness and behaviour changes. Statistical analysis of NNPS data quantifies changes in fox density and predation rates.
NNPS can be replicated across sites, offering scalability and a comprehensive understanding of intervention impacts across diverse landscapes.
Community citizen science programs like 1 Million Turtles promote public engagement and education by involving local communities in data collection. Participants gain an understanding of freshwater turtle conservation, impacts of feral species such as foxes on wildlife, and their impacts on biodiversity.
Increased awareness and knowledge leads to better support for conservation efforts and collaboration with agencies.
All of our approaches and tools have been designed to enable participation by community members. This focus provides an opportunity for enhancing engagement with your community and get them actively involved in feral management and conservation initiatives.
In areas with turtle populations, agencies can partner with communities and schools to locate and protect turtle nests during nesting seasons to prevent damage and predation by foxes.
Before fox management with 1mt
The infographics below offer a quick overview of how the tools can be applied before and after implementing fox management interventions.
Before implementing fox management interventions, the NNPS serves as a valuable tool to assess baseline nest predation rates. Gathering data on nest predation extent helps us understand challenges faced by Australian turtle populations, informing effective management plans and future intervention assessments.
After fox management with 1mt
After implementing fox management interventions, NNPS can play a vital role in evaluating their effectiveness and facilitating progress monitoring. The following steps outline NNPS application post-intervention.