Glenmore High School students (from left) Kayde Corporaal, Melinda Barsby, Clarissa Ward, Maddy Storey and Maddy Vardy with the classroom turtles they studied before embarking on a project to aid the Fitzroy River turtle.
Glenmore High School students (from left) Kayde Corporaal, Melinda Barsby, Clarissa Ward, Maddy Storey and Maddy Vardy with the classroom turtles they studied before embarking on a project to aid the Fitzroy River turtle. Sharyn Oneill Roksturtle

Schoolgirls to rescue turtles

MADDY Vardy didn't expect to get so close to turtles during her science classes this term.

A new environmental project conducted by Year 8 and 9 students from Glenmore High School has helped protect one of the most vulnerable species in the Fitzroy Basin while inspiring future conservation volunteers along the way.

The project, which aims to protect the vulnerable nests of the Fitzroy River turtle, became a reality on November 16 and 17 thanks to a $2400 grant from Ergon Energy initiative Envirofund.

The grant enabled eight students, including Maddy, to work with Greening Australia to attend investigative field trips and participate in locating nests, counting eggs and protecting the nests with mesh.

Science co-ordinator at Glenmore High School Michelle MacNamara was delighted by the enthusiasm of the students involved.

"The eight students who offered to do an assignment outside their normal school work got to go on the excursions," she said.

"The girls were thrilled to take part in the environmental work."

Ergon Energy general manager for service delivery Steve Leighton said the project was an opportunity for students to develop an appreciation of nature conservation and awareness of their own ability to make a difference to their local environment.

"As we have seen, with the Fitzroy River turtle project, Envirofund can help by giving a kick-start to innovative projects that benefit the environment either through direct action or education," Mr Leighton said.

It's hoped the Fitzroy River turtle conservation project will become a regular occurrence in future.



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