Pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 172517172
Population structure, wildlife forensics and conservation of the pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) in New Guinea
In partnership with Yolarnie Amepou of the Piku Biodiversity Network Inc. (PBN) NGO, University of Canberra Ph.D. Candidate Matthew Young will conduct research on the pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) and provide conservation and environmental education to local communities across the Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea. The team will be collecting DNA samples from pig-nosed turtles to assess population structure and variation in the species, as well as providing education material developed by the PBN conservation program focused in the Kikori region, to local schools throughout Gulf Province. The genetic research will inform the PBN already acting in the Kikori region of the scale of conservation action required to safeguard the turtles in the Kikori.
Wildlife trafficking for the illegal pet trade and traditional medicines is a concerning threat for the persistence of wild populations of pig-nosed turtles, especially those in Papua Province. The genetic research will also involve developing wildlife forensics resources for the assignment of provenance of trafficked individuals to their source populations, to combat the illegal trade and to aid conservation work repatriating seized pig-nosed turtles.
Funding from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is enabling the team to conduct on-ground conservation fieldwork in Papua New Guinea and collect genetic samples for conservation research in 2018.
Project 172517172 location - Papua New Guinea, Oceania