Eastern Long-Necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)
The shell of the Common long-necked turtle is up to 25cm in length and varies in colour from light to dark brown to black.
- Its neck is almost equal in length to its body.
- It is slow moving and migrates overland in the warmer months following the rain.
- To avoid predators and water loss, it can turn its head sideways to completely withdraw it, along with its neck and limbs, under its shell.
- The Common long-necked turtle lives in swamps, billabongs, slow-moving creeks and rivers, which provide a safe haven from many predators as well as providing sources of food.
- They are found throughout the outer Melbourne area, and are commonly found in Willsmere-Chandler Park and Koonung Creek Reserve.
- The Common long-necked turtle is a protected species and is not to be taken from the wild. In Boroondara, it is listed as vulnerable.
- The Common long-necked turtle is vulnerable to changes in water levels (e.g. as a result of drought). Their nests and hatchlings are also vulnerable to predators such as foxes, rakali (indigenous water rats) and ravens.
Marbled gecko (Christinus marmoratus)
The Marbled gecko is a small, soft-bellied lizard up to 70mm long.
- It is easily identified by its large finger and toe pads, which spread out to grasp slippery or soft surfaces.
- It lacks moveable eyelids and uses its tongue to keep its eyes clean.
- It is insectivorous by nature but will eat anything small enough to fit in its mouth. In summer, females usually lay one clutch, containing two eggs at a time.
- During the day the Marbled gecko can be found in woodpiles, fallen timber or logs.
- At night, they can be seen around external lights, feeding on insects attracted to the light.
- The Marbled gecko is listed as an endangered species in Boroondara and is rare in Melbourne.
- To help protect the Marbled gecko, avoid using chemical sprays and insecticides, and keep cats in at night.