Nature park supports global turtle research


THE Port Moresby Nature Park has supported the global research to protect turtles and tortoises in Papua New Guinea.
In a new study published in the journal Science, researchers used data contributed by the park in collaboration with other zoos and aquariums to examine 52 species of turtles and tortoises.
The park in a statement said the data it recorded in the Species360 zoological information management system (ZIMS) enabled researchers to discover that turtles and tortoises defied common evolutionary theories and might reduce the rate of aging in response to improvements in environmental conditions unlike humans and other species.
It said researchers from the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance and the University of Southern Denmark used data captured by the park to show that certain animal species, such as turtles and tortoises, might exhibit slower or even absent senescence when their living conditions improve.
“As part of our commitment to conservation and animal welfare, our organisation records data on the animals in our collection to ensure our animals are well cared for and can contribute to species population management and conservation,” park general manager of Life Sciences Brett Smith said.
“We are proud that the data we have collected and curated on the turtles in our collection has contributed to this study, and helped researchers better understand aging in these species.”
Port Moresby Nature Park is a member of Species360, a non-profit organisation which maintains the (ZIMS) – the largest database on wildlife in human care.
As part of the park’s commitment to conservation and providing high standards of animal welfare, it uses ZIMS to keep detailed records of its animal collections.
And as a holder of turtles, the Nature Park has actively collected and shared data in ZIMS on this species which has directly contributed to this study.
The park relied on grants and donor funding to operate.