By Daphne Rasehei – EMTV Online
The result of research funding provided by Exxon Mobil PNG (EMPNG) has led to a new species of freshwater turtle that has been discovered in New Guinea.
The University of Canberra is leading this research to further support conservation in the area following EMPNG’s investment in research and engagement projects to protect Piku – the pig-nosed turtle.
Arthur Georges, lead author from the University of Canberra, said in a news release:
“The other species of freshwater turtle appear to have arrived after New Guinea had formed much as we see it today.”
As a freshwater turtle, the new species has been recognized to be genetically related, but not identical to the Elseya Dentata, otherwise known as the Northern Snapping Turtle.
Georges noted that one of the turtle’s most distinguishing features was its reddish colour.
To date, EMPNG has invested more than K2.6 million in protecting the endangered species.
“The commitment to maintaining the biodiversity of Papua New Guinea is extremely important to EMPNG.
“The discovery of this new turtle species is hopefully one of many resulting from our partnership with the University of Canberra and our conservation commitment to this region,” said Valentina Kaman, Community Investment Advisor.
Exxon Mobil has a strong focus on conserving PNG’s unique environment and protecting its biodiversity.