Australian Turtle on the Brink

Posted in Turtle Research on Nov 30, 2018

The Bellinger River Sawshell, *Myuchelys georgesi*, is facing some serious challenges. In an article that appeared this week in the journal Endangered Species Research, we report the disturbing observation that the endangered endemic *Myuchelys georgesi* is hybridizing in the wild with the locally introduced *Emydura macquarii*, which threatens Its very existence.

Asian-New Guinea Turtle Makeover

Posted in Turtle Research on Mar 13, 2018

Conservationists, wildlife biologists and other experts converted on Singapore Zoo this week for intensive scrutiny of what is known of the freshwater turtles of Asia, New Guinea and environs. They paint a sober picture, with many species moving to vulnerable or from vulnerable to endangered, or from endangered to critically endangered.

Profiling a rapid extinction event

Posted in Turtle Research on Mar 13, 2018

The Bellinger River Turtle, Myuchelys georgesi, is in trouble. A virus recently decimated the population, virtually extirpating the adult population from its restricted native range. Effectively, only juveniles remain. In this article, which appeared today an Biological Conservation, we outline our views on the causes of the decline.

Turtles in Trouble

Posted in Turtle Research on Mar 03, 2018

There is no vertebrate group facing greater survival problems today than turtles. Turtles saw the great dinosaurs come and go and are now facing their own extinction crisis -- John Behler. Scientists have now revised their assessment of the 25 turtles most at risk of extinction, to increase the imperative for governments to take action. Two Australian freshwater turtles are on the list.

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund supports pig-nosed turtle conservation

Posted in Turtle Research on Dec 18, 2017

Congratulations to Matt Young and Yolarnie Amepou on securing funding from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for their work in Papua New Guinea. The project is administered by the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra in partnership with the Piku Biodiversity Network in PNG.

Holsworth Endowment supports Pignosed Turtle Research

Posted in Turtle Research on Nov 17, 2017

Next-Generation DNA Sequencing is going to be brought to bear on wildlife trafficking for Australian freshwater turtles thanks to a grant to Matt Young from the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment Fund. Well done Matt Young on securing this support.

Exciting new NGO for PNG emerges from the IAE Piku Program

Posted in Turtle Research on Nov 09, 2017

An exciting new NGO has emerged from the Piku program that has operated out of the University of Canberra since 2006. Our sponsors gave us the lead -- it is time for this program to transition to PNG leadership, and we agreed. The Piku Biodiversity Network was incorporated last week and will be led by Public Officer Yolarnie Amepou. The Board comprises persons with impeccable connections to community and sustainability programs within PNG, and a representative from UC. The new NGO received a welcome injection of funds last night, by way of a donation of 10,000 kina from the PNG-Australia Alumni Association.

Yolanie Amepou named UN 2017 Youth Champion for Sustainable Development Goals

Posted in Turtle Research on Oct 24, 2017

Congratulations to IAE Masters student Yolarnie Amepou on being named one to the United Nations 2017 Youth Champion for the Sustainable Development Goals in PNG. The pesentation was made at the commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations, in Port Moresby, PNG.

Kutubu Kundu Digaso Festival

Posted in Turtle Research on Aug 24, 2017

Congratulations to Carla Eisemberg and Yolarnie Amepou of the IAE on securing funding from Exxon-Mobil PNG to attend the 7th Kutubu Kundu Digaso Festival in PNG later this month. The Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival celebrates the importance of the kundu drum and the Digaso oil in the traditional culture of the Kutubu people in the Southern Highlands Province. Cultural groups will travel from remote parts of the province to participate in the festival celebrations.

New Book on Australian Turtles

Posted in Turtle Research on Aug 06, 2017

Friday, Turtles of the World, and today I receive a copy of Freshwater Turtles of Australia by John Cann and Ross Sadlier. This is a greatly improved version of John Cann's earlier book on the same topic -- a spectacular expose of the diversity and form of the unusual turtle fauna of Australia, dominated as it is by the family Chelidae. Beautifully illustrated and accompanied by a wealth of experience that John has accumulated through decades of passionate enquiry. The taxonomy is a bit odd I must say, not in many cases following the lead given by the article by myself and Scott Thomson in 2010, or the Turtles of the World compendium, or the official list of turtles prepared by the Australian Society of Herpetologists. Cann and Sadlier go it alone, which is their perogative, with taxonomic rearrangements that reduce some species to the level of subspecies, and elsewhere raise a plethora of geographic variants to subspecies. This aside, it is a must for anyone who shares our passion for this fascinating group of reptiles.

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