A turtle named after famed naturalist Steve Irwin that has the ability to breathe through its bum may be under threat from the proposed $4 billion Urannah Dam.
Freshwater species elseya Irwini, or Irwin's turtle, was unknown to science until 1990 when 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin and his father Bob sent photos of a distinctive snapping turtle to the Queensland Museum.
The turtle's known habitat is limited to a 25-kilometre stretch of the Bowen River inland from Mackay.
James Cook University doctorate candidate Jason Schraffer said he was concerned about a significant risk to the isolated population of Irwin's turtles.
"The only known study population is smack bang on the site of the proposed dam," he said.
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