PNG communities still hunt the endangered species, which has prompted a local conservationist to urge individuals to work harder to ensure the survival of special turtles

A conservationist in Papua New Guinea is trying to convince people not to hunt endangered leatherback turtles, which might be the largest of their species in the world but they’re still no match for humans.

The number of leatherback turtles around the world have declined rapidly over the past few decades.

The turtles that are seen in countries like Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji, have in fact migrated there to breed.

Many PNG communities still hunt the endangered species, which has prompted a local conservationist to urge his fellow Papua New Guineans to work harder to ensure the survival of special turtles.

Wenceslaus Magun, is the national coordinator of the PNG environment group ‘Mas Kagin Tapani Association’.

“The leatherback turtles are a critically endangered species…there are hot spots in New Guinea that we need to protect, we need to empower the local communities that share the beaches with the leatherback turtles to protect them when they come,” he told Pacific Beat.

“Because many of them don’t know that this largest sea turtle in the world, of the seven turtle species, this one is extraordinary because it doesn’t have a shell…it dives the deepest…and it swims the furthest, he said.

This story was produced by Caroline Tiriman, published at ABC on 14 June 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.

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