No less a body than the BBC’s Nature News is featuring the work of the University of Canberra’s Carla Eisemberg with pig nosed turtles in Papua New Guinea.
Numbers of pig-nosed turtles have declined steeply over the past 30 years, researchers have discovered.
The unique reptile has become an international conservation icon, due to it having no close relatives and being considered the turtle most adapted to life underwater in freshwater ponds and rivers.
Yet demand for its eggs and meat in Papua New Guinea, one of the turtle’s main homes, has led to the species being dramatically over-harvested by indigenous people.
Details of the decline are published in the journal Biological Conservation.
“Pig-nosed turtles are considered unique and unusual among freshwater species of turtles in many facets of their morphology, ecology and behaviour,” Carla Eisemberg of the University of Canberra, Australia, told BBC Nature.