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New arrivals at the Ipswich Nature Centre

Proud parents Sheila and Sheldon from the Ipswich Nature Centre are thrilled to announce the arrival of their two adorable hatchlings Verne and Neptune.

The two little fresh water hatchlings clawed their way up out of the nest in time to see in the new year.

The baby turtles are Brisbane short-necked turtles which are a subspecies native to the Brisbane area.

It is the first time in three years that the rain fell at just the right time, for the conditions to be perfect for hatchlings, as rainfall appears to be critical to their nesting behaviour. 

It is thought that the rain may soften the ground and make digging the nest easier and faster minimising the time turtles have to spend on land exposed to predators.

Shiela dug a hole in her enclosure a couple of months ago and laid the eggs before using her back legs to refill the hole, while covering her precious offspring beneath the soil for safety. 

These reptiles like to spend most of their time in the water, but they also like to climb out onto logs, rocks and banks to bask in the sun. 

Turtle don’t have teeth. They use the edge of their mouth, which resembles a bird’s beak, to bite with. 

At the Ipswich Nature Centre the turtles have a mixed diet of insects and plants they find themselves plus a variety of food from the keepers including fruit, vegetables, fish, prawns and insects. 

They are currently being cared for off display.

Some new poultry has also arrived in the barn to join Dexter the cow, Elsa the goat and other long-time residents.

A very fine specimen, Mervin, is an impressive Orpington rooster.

This large, colourful guy is a gentle giant covered in an array of soft feathers.

He is joined by a Red Bantam Lucile and a Blue Wyandott named Desi.

Two female ducks and three guinea fowl will also be joining the crew once they finish their quarantine period.

Some minor renovations have been made to the barn enclosures making them larger for the birds to roost in comfortably at night.

Queens Park is also currently home to a wild population of flying-foxes. 

The colony is roosting in the canopies of the Ipswich Nature Centre and Nerima Gardens. 

There are three species of flying-fox roosting within the park. 

Black flying-fox Pteropus Alecto, Grey-headed flying-fox Pterpopus poliocephalus and Little red flying-fox Pteropus scapulatus. 

Like all native wildlife species, flying-foxes are protected under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992. 

Bats have been found in the area infected with Australian Bat Lyssavirus that is dangerous to people. 

To manage the safety of visitors to the Ipswich Nature Centre, staff have implemented extra cleaning and maintenance of the trees. 

Flying-foxes are an important pollinator and disperse seeds of native trees across large distances. 

Most importantly, visitors must not handle flying-foxes under any circumstances – even if they appear dead. 

Only people who are trained and appropriately vaccinated should handle flying-foxes.

There were 19,798 visitors to the Ipswich Nature Centre during the school holidays allowing people to reconnect with nature and learn about Australia’s native animals.

Now the holidays are over the Ipswich Nature Centre will return to operating six days a week.

Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 4pm.

Entry is free but gold coin donations are accepted. As you leave, there is a box on the fence.

Ipswich Nature Centre is in Queens Park on Goleby Avenue, Ipswich.

The centre has a range of Australian wildlife, lush landscaped gardens and
exhibits that have been recreated to represent local bushland and flora communities.

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