The Western Swamp Tortoise is a brown turtle growing up to 150 mm in length with a squarish shell, flat and broad lower shell and a broad, flat head with a horny casque (helmet) (Cogger 2000). Males do not exceed a carapace length of 155 mm or a weight of 550 g; females are smaller and do not grow beyond 135 mm carapace length or a weight of 410 g (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). Hatchlings have a carapace length of 24–29 mm and weigh 3.2–6.6 g (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004). The colour of Western Swamp Tortoise varies with age and swamp type. The shell of hatchlings are grey above and bright cream and black below. The carapace in adults is usually similar in colour to the swamp water and varies from medium yellow-brown in clay swamps to almost black with a maroon tinge in the black coffee-coloured water of sandy swamps (Burbidge & Kuchling 2004).
Western Swamp Tortoise |
Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
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Australian Government, Listing Advice, Pseudemydura umbrina
In addition; the Western Swamp Tortoise’s habitat is under threat due to increasing aridity in the region; which is resulting in early drying of swamps during some years.