The Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) is Australia’s most endangered reptile. These tortoises were feared extinct for more than 100 years, but were rediscovered in 1953. They are Australia’s smallest tortoise (10-15cm) and inhabit ephemeral swamps. The tortoise population is threatened by the decline of its natural habitat, changing climate, introduced animals and bush fire. With concern for the plight of this species, Perth Zoo sought partnership to establish a security population and to increase the breeding program. Adelaide Zoo received its first Western Swamp Tortoises in 2003 and had its first successful hatchlings in 2012. Zoos SA is involved with the Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Team.
Our partners include Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), Australian National Parks and Wildlife, WWF-Australia, Perth Zoo and the University of Western Australia (UWA).