Adrian Martins

Adrian Martins

Adrian Martins, Australia

Adrian Martins is a Project Manager for the North Central Catchment Management Authority based in Bendigo, Victoria. He has 20 years of experience working across a range of multi-disciplinary natural resource management projects with a strong focus on the delivery of terrestrial, river health and wetland conservation and rehabilitation activities.  Adrian enjoys collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders including community groups, traditional owners, farmers, schools, researchers and specialist interest groups to devise and implement innovative and enduring strategies and on-ground practical solutions to reverse key threatening processes and restore Australia’s unique biodiversity assets. He lives in central Victoria, with his partner and two young children and barracks for Collingwood. Sometimes.

Presentation Title: Partnership approach to freshwater turtle conservation in Northern Victoria

Freshwater turtles throughout the Murray Darling basin are declining due to a range of factors but most notably due to the predation of eggs in laid nests by the introduced European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). The North Central Catchment Management Authority is working in partnership with a range of stakeholders to increase turtle hatchling recruitment success of three species and improve public awareness of freshwater turtle decline in and around Gunbower Forest, a 19,450 ha red gum dominated Ramsar listed wetland system situated in northern Victoria. Conservation efforts are being achieved through the combination of non-lethal fox control research activities, volunteer turtle nest mapping and turtle nest protection solutions and community education programs. Researchers from Western Sydney University (UWS) have achieved mixed results in trialling non-lethal fox control techniques including conditioned taste aversion (CTA) and olfactory learning (or distraction) within Gunbower forest and surrounding agricultural areas adjacent to Gunbower creek. Non-lethal techniques are being tested because lethal methods, including 1080 baiting and shooting, have been shown to reduce fox activity in nesting areas but paradoxically often do not reduce nest depredation rates by foxes. Volunteers from Turtles Australia Inc. have coordinated farmers, students and the general public to record turtle activity and map both predated and successful turtle nests using the online citizen science mapping tool TurtleSat. Additionally, Turtles Australia Inc. provide advice and turtle nest protection kits to landholders who observe turtle nesting and are able to protect nests from fox predation. Landholders and the general public are informed of turtle identification, ecology, threatening processes and conservation measures through the delivery of high quality presentations to schools, community interest groups and at various Gunbower Forest regional public events.

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