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Pig-Nosed Turtle

PIG-NOSED TURTLE PROFILE

Part of the Eukarya domain and Testudines order, Carettochelys insculpta (pig-nosed turtle) is a species found only in the southern side of Papua, Indonesia, with populations spreading from Merauke to Kaimana. 

At risk of dying out, it is classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Eisemberg et al., 2018) as endangered in the appendix II of CITES (Convention International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) (UNEP-WCMC, 2011).

Carettochelys insculpta is also a protected species in Indonesia, according to Agriculture Ministerial Decree No. 327/Kpts/Um/5/1978 (reinforced by Government Regulation 7/1999 and Environment & Forestry Ministerial Regulation No. P.20/Menlhk/Setjen/Kum.1/6/2018 on protected flora and fauna). 

Pig-nosed turtles are clearly different from their ordinary counterparts, in that they possess a pig-like snout.

They are the only living members of the Carettochelyidae family. Like tortoises, pig-nosed turtles have feet that function as fins.

These creatures can live up to 40 years old. They are omnivores, but prefer plants and fruits. In their natural habitat, pig-nosed turtles like eating apples, figs, and bananas, with an occasional diet of shrimp and small fish.

Pig-nosed turtles are an important resource for South Papuan natives, consumed both as a medicine and an animal protein source for generations.

A long time ago, the Vriendschaps (now Baliem) River community used them as wedding dowries. Both the species and its eggs have high selling prices, leading many to hunt them and eventually threaten their population. 

In the wild, these turtles make their nests in the sand, where they put their eggs and leave the hatching up to Mother Nature. Whether or not the births are successful are due to factors like heat, sand structure and humidity, the presence/absence of predators, and any damage to the nest or eggs from overflowing river. Low hatch rate and massive hunt exacerbate the scarcity of this species.

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Pig-Nosed Turtle

Part of the Eukarya domain and Testudines order, Carettochelys insculpta (pig-nosed turtle) is a species found only in the southern side of Papua, Indonesia

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Greater bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea apoda, family: Paradisaeidae order: Passeriformes) is a bird-of-paradise in the genus Paradisaea

Papua Conservation

Asiki, Jair,
Boven Digoel Regency,
Papua 99661

 

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