News

NPWS close parts of Bellinger River due to turtle mortality

The National Parks and Wildlife incident management team meeting to discuss the closure.
The National Parks and Wildlife incident management team meeting to discuss the closure.

NATIONAL Parks and Wildlife services have closed the upper catchment on the Bellinger River as a precautionary measure in the wake of the turtle mortality event.

The closure is in New England National Park including Brinerville and the order is in force until further notice.

Incident Controller and NPWS Senior Wildlife Management Officer, Geoff Ross, said the closure is to minimise the potential threat of introducing any potential pathogen into the pristine environment of this section of park until the cause and extent of the problem in the lower catchment has been determined.

"People are asked to cooperate and help ensure all possible precautionary measures in order to protect wildlife including in the national park," he said.

"Assessment teams have begun monitoring the river upstream of Thora, mapping the possible the extent of the area where turtles have been affected.

"Hygiene protocols have been developed specially for this response and are required to avoid the potential to spread any disease pathogen until more is known.

"Affected turtles found to date are suffering apparent blindness leading to inability to feed and subsequent starvation."

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) inspected the Bellinger River at four key locations when the situation was first reported.

No pesticides, including organochlorines, organophosphorous and pyrethroids, or hydrocarbons were detected at any of the four sample sites.

The NPWS is working closely with Bellingen Shire Council, Taronga Zoo, Department of Primary Industries, Wildlife Health Australia (WHA), the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and WIRES as well as local community members.

"To help prevent potential spread of whatever may be causing the problem people are advised to report sick turtle sightings.

"They should not enter the water, handle the turtles or try to capture any turtles in the Bellinger River.

"If people are using canoes or other water craft it is recommended that these are washed down with warm soapy water and thoroughly dried after use.

"Avoid using in other waterways if at all possible."

Topics:  bellingen shire council, dpi, epa, npws, taronga zoo, wires



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Group forms for development of new gallery, library

SMALL PLACE, BIG PLANS: Plans for a new Coffs Harbour central library and regional gallery to replace the “simply inadequate”  facilities will be focus of a new planning advisory group.

Group forms for development of new gallery, library

LIVE: Council to vote on Fishos' future

Live coverage of tonight's council meeting

Students take a peek at careers

Youth Directions' Career Day at the Coffs Harbour Racing Club today attracted 1200 senior high school students from the Clarence Valley and Coffs Coast.

A start for the workforce of tomorrow in Coffs Harbour

Latest deals and offers

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Mayor talks Fishos vote

Mayor Denise Knight said extensive work went into her mayoral minute.

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest