A BOOK called Westy the Western Swamp Tortoise aims to help children understand the special reptile and its plight.
Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw said the book written by Friends of Western Swamp Tortoise committee member Cathy Levett was important as there were less than 50 adult western swamp tortoises in the wild.
“We are very lucky to have them in our backyard at both Ellen Brook and Twin Swamps nature reserves,’’ she said.
“This makes Ellenbrook very special, as it is the only place in the world where the western swamp tortoise lives.
“Cathy has written an amazing book highlighting the plight of the tortoise and all proceeds (from the book) go towards helping the Friends of Western Swamp Tortoise with educational tools and programs.’’
Friends of Western Swamp Tortoise chairwoman Jan Bant said the book came about because the group identified a need for a bright, colourful book with simple, engaging text.
“Cathy set about writing a book to help children understand this special reptile,’’ she said.
“We are proud that it is one of only a handful of books by a Western Australian author about an iconic Western Australian animal, totally published and printed in Western Australia.
“I, along with many others dedicated to assisting the western swamp tortoise, hope it can soon be removed from the red list of critically endangered fauna and is never considered extinct again.’’
Cathy Levett, who is a Friends of Western Swamp Tortoise committee member, said making sure the text and pictures worked together to tell an accurate story had been a challenge.
She said she was proud but relieved the book was finally available.
“I hope children will love it,’’ she said.
“Raising awareness about these unique wildlife is a lifelong passion of mine and I am so pleased with how the book has been received.’’
You can buy Westy the Western Swamp Tortoise from www.westernswamptortoise.com.au