Murray River Turtles play a critical role in maintaining the health of our rivers. They are scavengers and eat dead fish and other animals in the water, as well as algae, which helps keep the rivers clean.
Like other freshwater turtles, Murray River turtles have a thin, transparent third eye-lid which covers their eye whilst they are submerged to allow them to see effectively under water.
Murray River Turtles rarely come out of the water, but they do sometimes come onto land to bask in the sun, lay eggs or if they need to travel over land to reach other bodies of water.
Murray River Turtles are very slow growing and do not become adults until they are 10 years old.
Where can you find them?
The Murray River Turtle (also known as the Macquarie River Turtle) lives in open freshwater rivers and lakes. They are predominantly found in in the Murray-Darling River system in south-eastern Australia (NSW, SA, Vic and QLD) but can be found in larger rivers and permanent lakes in this region.
Critically Endangered (Vic) and Vulnerable (SA)
Murray River Turtles have declined by 90% in the last 40 years and in some areas of Australia are now locally extinct. The biggest threats to these turtles are predators, especially the feral fox which destroys around 90% of turtle nests. Turtles also face threats from climate change; increasing salt levels in freshwater; water pollution including sewage, chemicals and petrol/oil spills; and reduced or changed water conditions.
The Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 Threatened List, June 2023, lists the Murray River Turtle as Critically Endangered.
The South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, June 2023, lists the Macquarie River Turtle as Vulnerable.
Caring for Australia's Wildlife
We want our little ones, and yours, to grow up with a healthy planet, where native plants and animals thrive. That’s why we donate 1 cent from every product sold to support Australian wildlife. We also seek to minimise our impact on the environment wherever possible.
Australian Wildlife facing threats to survival are featured on our packaging, to help raise community awareness and support for these important animals.