Dubbo Environment Group leader Margaret McDonald is urging river goers and fisherman to take extra caution when on the riverbanks following the discovery of a dead mutilated turtle.
The large turtle was found by walkers on Friday evening near the Tamworth Street Footbridge, decapitated, bearing a hole in its shell and entwined in fishing wire.
Ms McDonald said it should come as a reminder to those who have been spending time near the river during the hotter days to be aware of the wildlife living in the Macquarie River, as well as the conditions of the water.
"It's important those spending time near or in the Macquarie River leave the water looking as pristine as possible," she said.
"Fishermen need to ensure they don't leave behind any hooks, wire or plastics."
Ms McDonald said some people may not be aware of the wildlife living in the Macquarie River.
"A few years ago a Chelodina Expansa Turtle was found near Sandy Beach, which is a rare breed that was identified by experts,' she said.
"According to Sydney University professor Chris Dickman, Australia has the highest rate of species lost in the world.
"He also estimated that 480 million animals have been affected by the bushfires in NSW, which started in September of 2019.
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"On top of that and the hardships caused by years of drought, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) confirmed that water from our main water sources has been over-extracted by irrigators.
"This means that now more than ever we must start taking immediate steps towards restoring the Macquarie River and ensuring we aren't causing more damage to our waterways."
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