Albany will be visited by turtle ecologist Anthony Santoro who will hold information sessions on the conservation of the south western snake-necked turtle. Native to fresh-water wetlands, the turtles can be found from metropolitan Perth to Fitzgerald National Park. They have been deemed near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, largely due to their declining available habitats. “Urbanisation is a big threat to the turtles, it’s essentially all habitat modification and removal,” Mr Santoro said. “When we remove or modify all the habitat that surrounds lakes, creeks, and rivers, and replace it with things like roads, houses, and laws, we take away their nesting habitat.” As well as battling for survival in the face of rapid human expansion, snake-necked turtles are prey for native and non-native predators alike. “The two main ones in my experience are foxes and ravens,” Mr Santoro said. “Foxes being introduced species, there’s an impact there that shouldn’t be happening and is an added pressure on the population. “Whereas ravens are native but as a species have adapted really well to the human presence, and their populations are a lot larger.” The information session will be held by Mr Santoro on August 7 at the City of Albany’s North Road Civic Rooms.