WORLDWIDE FUND FOR NATURE FINDS RED EAR SLIDER TURTLE IN IRIAN JAYA

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (April 26, 2001 – Indonesian Observer/Antara/Kabar-Irian)---Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) researchers have discovered the existence of the endangered red ear slider (Trachemya Seripta Elegans) in the Borarsi area of Manokwari district in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province.

The freshwater turtle belongs to the world's biggest "Emydidae" family, besides those of "Geoemydae, Trynychidae, Kinosternidae" found in Central and South America, WWF researcher, Jhon Maturbongs, pointed out yesterday in Manokwari, Irian Jaya, as reported by Antara.

"Researchers have so far found two species of sliders in Indonesia - the 'trachemy scripta elegans' and the 'trachemy terrapen'," he said.

"They have also discovered startling new evidence that indeed the female slider has a higher shield than the male slider," he added with obvious enthusiasm. Jhon said the researchers have scored a second victory in this discovery, after their first when they found a slider, believed to be from China, in a river in Dili, capital of East Timor. However, that kind of slider was never found there again, he said.

Despite the enthusiasm over these exciting new discoveries, the WWF is still very concerned with the prevalence of illegal hunting and poaching of paradise birds, which is quickly driving them toward extinction.

KABAR-IRIAN ("Irian News") Websites: http://www.irja.org/index2.shtml  and http://www.kabar-irian.com 

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