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For tortoise, terrapin and turtle care and conservation


R. Lockhart, COSMOS Office, The Mathematics Department, Goldsmiths' College, London University, 25 St. James, London.


In 1987 the British Chelonia group gave funds towards the institution of a turtle reserve at a nesting beach of Leatherback turtles in Morobe province, Papua New Guinea. The first part of this paper describes the founding ofthe reserve and reports on its present status. The second part is an account of a population survey offour species ofmarine turtles which occur in New Guinea waters. The third part gives some personal comments relating to Conservation in the third world.


In 1968 I took up an appointment as a lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Technology, in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Lae is a pleasant coastal town some five degrees south of the equator and situated in a region oftropical rain forest. There are high mountains, fast rivers, coral reefs, and Kunai grasslands all within a few miles of the University. The landscape is diverse, and relatively unspoiled - although the voracious and unprincipled activities of various Asian logging companies will probably change that within the next few years.

Papua New Guinea is on the Australian side ofthe Wallace line. There are no land tortoises but there are various freshwater terrapins (some of them quite remarkable). Six species of marine turtle have been found in the local seas (Spring, 1984). In probable order of abundance these are: Chelonia mydas (The green turtle), Eretmochelys imbricata (the hawksbill turtle, Dermochelys coriacea (the leatherback turtle), Caretta caretta (the loggerhead turtle), Lepidochelys olivacea (the olive Ridley turtle), and Chelonia depressa (the flatback turtle).

C. Sylvia Spring conducted a pioneering study ofthe sea turtles in Papua New Guinea ten years ago (Spring, 1984) but the vast size of the mast and the difficulty in getting about mean that any survey is at best partial. In particular, the large nesting beach ofleatherback turtles which is to be foundjust outside Lae was missed.

The first section of this report describes the nesting beach and how a reserve was established there. The second section gives an account ofthe findings of my own postal survey of the present status of marine turtles in New Guinea. In the third section I make some general (and personal) comments and suggestions relating to Conservation in the third world. None of this work could have been done without the generous support of the Mathematics Department ofthe University ofTechnology in Lae. The reports printed by them are still available and copies of them are also lodged with the librarian of the British Chelonia Group.

Maus Buang

The east bank of the Markham river marks the start of a region of mangrove swamps and fresh water lakes which shadows the coastline for some miles. The sea is deep and its salinity maybe reduced due to the effects of the estuary and many small streams of fresh water. The Buang is one such stream. It enters the ocean close to the village Maus Buang (='Mouth ofthe Buang'), two miles east ofthe large village ofLabu Tale. This whole area of swamps is known as the Labu lakes and the Labu people first came here something like one hundred years ago. They are subsistence farmers and fisherman. Many of the young men do casual work in Lae, often in the local dockyard.

The beach is generally steep and made of dark sand. There are no coral reefs in the area and the sea is not richly endowed with marine life. This beach is a major nesting ground for leatherback turtles. There was a Department of Fisheries at the University of Technology some years ago. Dr. Norm Quinn was a member of that department and he published data on the Maus Buang leatherbacks and attempted to start a Conservation scheme based upon tourism (Quinn, 1983). Dr. Quinn probably paved the way for our work, but I was unaware of his activities when I first hiked to Maus Buang in December 1986. I was impressed with the spectacle of what I saw. Leatherbacks are monsters, and the sight ofone struggling up a beach to lay is thrilling. But it was clear that the efforts of the turtles availed them little - for all the eggs were harvested by locals who would camp on the beach all night for them.

A number of people, mainly associated with the Mathematics Department at Unitech, resolved to try to do something to improve the situation. One of these was Mrs. Kay Owens. She had once taught Mrs. Betty Barnabus - a primary school teacher at Labu Tale, and so we did have some personal contacts with the locals. We wrote to Betty to suggest that we engage a limited amount of private sponsorship of the part of the beach which related to the local school. Betty brought our letter to the attention of the school board and as a result of that, things began to move.

The prime movers at our end were Joy and Peter Merrett, and Steve and Ann Bedding. It was Pete who put us in contact with Luke Wangi - a New Guinea national with a lively interest in Conservation, fine organisational skills, (and a wife from Labu Tale!); and it was Joy and Pete who arranged the first meeting between us and the villagers.

I don't know how one would set about planning a scheme ofthe type we settled on. Nor am I clear about who first suggested the basic idea, although the villagers did have a large input to it. I do know that we were lucky. We got agreement on a sponsorship system which would involve turtle eggs being left where they were buried (this differed from the scheme ofNorm Quinn - which involved the re-location ofeggs as a result ofdirect sponsorship ofindividual nestsby tourists). Our plan was agreed to before we had funds and before we knew whether we could get any. At that crucial moment (winter 1987) we got support from the British Chelonia Group.

Without the excellent relations which Joy and Pete created with the people of Labu Tale, and without the favourable impression which Luke and Steve made when they addressed a meeting of all the locals outside the church at Labu one hot Sunday morning in November 1987 (in fluent Melanesian pidgin, I should add) I doubt that the plan would have got off the ground. The villagers agreed to a well-defined reserve area being created. We agreed to give the community financial support for the reserve (mainly channelling the money to the local school) and we agreed to publicise it and get tourism going.

The nesting season is at the turn ofthe year. At that time we advertise Labu Tale in the town by means of posters, talks and articles in the local journals; and we organise trips to see the nesting turtles. Turtles nesting on our reserve are left undisturbed: those nesting on the remainder of the beach are still fair game. Ifyou want to visit the turtles you should either write to the Conservation Committee at the Mathematics Department of the University of Technology in Lae asking for advice (they can arrange transport and accommodation so that your whole trip to the reserve is pre-paid) or to me personally. The time to go is probably mid-December, and then airfares to New Guinea are at their cheapest.

We have had successes and failures. One notable success was our involvement with Lae International Primary School. For two years they were effectively 'twinned' with the Labu Tale Community School. These two schools occupy opposite ends of the spectrum of education in Papua New Guinea. LIPS is a well-stocked prinmary run by highly trained teachers and with its own swimming pool, library and computer facilities. The Labu Tale school lacks the most basic materials and has little but the enthusiasm ofits staff to commend it. But the association between these schools was a major success. Both joined in the business of fund raising with enthusiasm. Both produced paintings and essays on Conservation which made me proud to be involved with them. Each school visited the other, and friendships and contacts were made which persist to this day. The Labu children kept meticulous records ofthe nesting ofturtles on our beach - which they traversed each morning on their way to their school. The LIPS children raised hundreds of kina for our reserve.

This sort of success often depends on the work of individuals. I am sorry to say that our association with LIPS suffered when Mrs. Vickie Hilton left the school to return to England.

Our other activities included; the design and sale of tee- shirts (these were so attractive I think they could be sold in Europe and America), stalls at the Morobe agricultural show , exhibitions in the University library. and articles in the popular press (we reached every New Guinea newspaper) and journals such as the British Chelonia Group Newsletter and the Marine Turtle Newsletter. (Bedding: 1988, 1989, 1990) gives accounts of our activities and the history of the reserve.

We had a constant stream of new recruits. The current committee comprises Mrs. Jean Cole, Attawe Koigiri, and John Gesa. These are all mathematicians but I understand other people are involved too and I am sorry that I cannot record their names here. It may be harder to keep a project going than to get one started and they have all been doing a great deal ofwork on it.

As to the future - I don't know that I can say anything useful. A nest ofturtle eggs represents ten kina to people who are desperately poor. The turtles nest at Christmas, when money is likely to be tight and it is not justPapua New Guinea thatis experiencing a breakdown of old disciplines and restraints.

We attempted to produce a feeling that nest robbing was stealing: not from some simple-minded over-privileged foreigner, but from the local community. I think that, briefly, we succeeded and I am really happy to have had unsolicited letters from Lae Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of Morobe provincial research committee thanking us for our work. I have no doubt that the local people are happy with what we have done in the last three years (I even found myself giving the prizes at the local school in 1988 - something that is unlikely to happen to me ever again!).

But I have doubts that the situation can continue. I was pessimistic about the integrity ofthe reserve on my last visit. It has since been visited by a Fulbright scholar who is an expert on turtles - Prof. Hal Hirth. Although Prof Hirth reported that it was still working in December 1989 , I remain worried about the long-term future.

We certainly did create a climate of interest in Conservation in Lae, and as a result ofthat there have been various initiatives quite apart from our one. For instance, I have just been informed of a scheme by New Guinea table birds to head-start turtle eggs in their own nursery. New Guinea table birds does have experience ofthe incubation ofreptile eggs: they have been running their own crocodile farm for many years. I once met their general manager, Mr. Brian Vernon, at a turtle stall we had at the Lae agricultural show. I can remember his intelligent and searching questions and I would be delighted if his organisation took an interest. Similarly, the University of Technology is becoming more involved in these problems and has plans to start a butterfly farm in Lae which may be able to do something about the awful plight of birdwing butterflies in New Guinea. The University Vice Chancellor, Mr.Mosely Moramoro, has taken a personal lead in Conservation issues and he gave us every encouragement - even visiting the reserve himself and making private donations.

Steve Bedding has been hard at work since I left New Guinea. He was interviewed for a BBC wildlife program a year ago and that generated further international and local interest. Steve has persuaded the Architecture Department at Unitech to design and construct a guest house for people who wish to come and watch the turtles nest. Although we have mixed feelings about tourists we think that encouraging them is probably the only way in which the nesting beach will survive. Steve has also been talking to the South Pacific Commission about financing a head-starting program like the one currently being run in Malaysia (Heng, 1982). As if that were not enough, he has been in contact with New Zealand television with regard to making a film on the turtles. Steve will leave New Guinea at the end ofMay. We are losing good people faster than they can be replaced.

For the present, the scheme has enough money, it is being run by hard-working enthusiasts (many ofthem nationals ofPapua New Guinea) and expansion plans are in hand. Some turtles have been saved (I can remember an old village man telling me excitedly that he had not seen hatchlings for years before we came). Perhaps we have just bought a bit of time.

The paradox of Conservation seems to me that the sums involved are so trivial compared to the work that is necessary. The value of the turtle eggs to the local people, per season, would be less than the price ofa family car; but we have been involved in an immense amount ofwork to get as far as we have.

On the basis of the figures given to me by the local villagers, it seems that in the first two years in which our scheme was running something like one hundred and fifty nests were left to incubate in peace. No figures are available for the 1989-1990 season but, as I have mentioned, we have had some reassurance that the reserve is still functioning. My own formal connection with the reserve ceased in June 1989.

Marine Turtles of Papua New Guinea

Although New Guinea is a major stronghold of sea turtles not much is known about their distribution. There are myriad small_islands and semi-permanent sand bars, and much of the coast is not completely charted. Sylvia Spring's survey was done ten years ago, and some parts of the country were not really touched (Spring, 1984). Mrs. Spring also published some excellent work on what might be termed ~turtle lore' - the stories and legends which local people have about turtles (Spring, 1980). I was interested in doing some work on Natural History while in New Guinea, but I am not trained in the biological sciences and I lacked the means to investigate particular areas: travel is expensive and often difficult, and the distances involved are vast. Even before I left England, I had contacted the Natural History Museum in London for advice and their kind replies suggested the sort of thing that occurs in mainline biological research - population and ecological studies that I thought beyond my technical reach. My background is in the theoretical sciences, so, I hit upon the idea of conducting a survey by means of questionnaires.

PNG has fourteen 1arge coastal provinces. Education is highly centralised with four national high schools supplying most of the students of the two universities - the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, (specialising in the pure sciences and the arts) and the University of Technology, in Lae. Thus, the education svstem produces pools of literate youngsters from all over the country and who have had recent experience of village life. It was just a question ofgetting the information from them.

In addition to this, I had printing facilities within the Mathematics Department at Lae, and the experience of Professor Glen Lean - who had conducted surveys over a number of years as part of his massive treatise on the counting systems ofMelanesia (Lean, 1988). There was also a fairly good library of books on turtles - left over from the old days of Norm Quinn and the Fisheries Department. What I did not have was any kind of finance; and it seemed to me to be unreasonable to expect support from my own department for a project that was so far from my supposed area of expertise.

My preliminary attempt at a survey form was limited by what I could afford. I got four hundred copies printed by my friends Charlie Levi and Sogadi Idagaela at cost price. I circulated these forms to the new first year students in February 1989 and I sent some forms to each ofthe national high schools and to the other university.

The response was encouraging. Each of the high schools promised to get their students to complete my forms (sadly, only two did do this) and so too did the university at Port Moresby (but again, no forms ever materialised! ) and I got a lot of good replies from the students at Unitech.

At that point the Mathematics Department waived all past printing charges and agreed to print any other forms without charge. My major expense was now postage (and I did spend a lot of money on that because I always paid return postage on everything I sent out). A bit later,my department even agreed to pay for the outward half of that, and I could really expand my activities. I doubt that a Mathematics Department in Europe or America would be so accommodating and I am eternally grateful to them.

Altogether, four different forms were produced. I attempted to improve each version as a result of the response to the last. This means that the nature of the enquiry changed as I conducted it. I tried to make my lack of knowledge into a virtue by asking questions which seemed reasonable to me without recourse to the sort of information that the available literature might have lead me to believe I could expect to find. In particular, I abstained from looking at Mrs. Spring's survey while I was working on mine.

The questionnaires benefited from the fine line drawings of turtles that I took from a book by Thomas P. Rebel (Rebel, 1974). I must record my gratitude to the University of Miami press for permission to use these drawings.

One of the courses that I gave at Unitech involved students carrying out questionnaires and I can remember my amusement at the bias which crept into their work. Its salutary to conduct a real questionnaire because you soon realise that bias is inevitable, even desirable. All questions were leading questions to some extent and when you add in complications relating to past memories and linguistic difficulties, you can despair of ever getting an acceptable line of enquiry or any approximation to the varying perceptions of your questions that your varie d audience will have.

My layman's knowledge of marine turtles led me to believe that I could expect to find green, loggerhead, leatherback and hawksbill turtles nesting in New Guinea. Since I had fine pictures of these I concentrated on them and ignored flatback and Ridley turtles completely. but by asking specific questions about the occurrence ofparticular species, I may have influenced my results.

Some of the data I record on loggerhead turtles is either new or wrong. These turtles breed in numbers on the coast of Queensland, where Dr. Colin Limpus has been studying and tagging them for many years (Limpus, 1986). On the basis of tag recoveries and other evidence, Dr. Limpus is inclined to doubt the occurrences of nesting loggerheads that my survey turned up. People certainly confused loggerhead and green turtles, and there may have been confusion with hawksbill turtles as well; so I think that the reports I had of loggerheads nesting must be treated with a degree of circumspection. Dr. Limpus wrote me a generous letter on the point and gave some indication as to where the confusion might lie. I wish I had the opportunity to do further work. There are some loggerheads in the local waters because I have seen their shells, on the other hand I have no personal experience ofthem nesting in New Guinea. I should certainly like to check the south coast of the main island (in particular, the area east of Kupiano, in Central province) for nesting populations.

My confidence in the ability of many of my respondents to discriminate between turtle species would have been increased had I had more reports of other species of turtles occurring (e.g. the Ridley). There was some linguistic and statistical evidence of accurate discrimination, but I'm afraid the case for nesting loggerheads is simply not proven. I would say that the maps of nesting populations that I have produced are likely to be correct for the leatherback and green turtles and that it is possible that there are nesting populations of loggerhead turtles on the south coast.

I had some idea of getting migratory information about turtles and I spent a lot of effort asking about seasonal occurrences - effort that I now think was largely wasted. Seasons are not so clear in the tropics and a casual reading of my results would suggest that the appearance was somehow linked to church holidays - just the period when students are vacationing and able to observe turtles at all. The sort ofquestions I asked evolved from a search for precise scientific data: how many eggs?, what size ofturtle? , when do they nest? to questions about whether there were turtles or not and how the local community viewed them. As I said in my report, I did not obtain some of the biological data I had hoped for, but I did reap an unexpected harvest of turtle lore. The whole survey lasted a mere four months (February 1989 - May 1989). I wish that I had started it years earlier so that I could have followed up some of the intriguing things that I was told.

I sent out over three thousand questionnaires. They went to educational institutions in the main but this was not always the case and I had some help from Unitech field workers, and missionaries with contacts in out-of-the-way locations. In those areas where I was particularly weak I studied the maps I had with Angela Balkwill, attempting to identify places where there were likely to be schools. We then wrote to the head teachers of these supposed schools. In a few cases, this paid off richly.

I do wish that I had been able to obtain fisheries information. I did try to do this, and some ofmy respondents even attempted to put me in touch with the authorities. I think my amateur status rather told against me here.

Well over three hundred forms were returned to me. I wrote a hundred page report on the results (Lockhart, 1989), which I recorded with as much care as I could. The report includes data that seems fanciful and amusing as well as information which I would classify as accurate and scientific. I am grateful to all my respondents. Some ofthem went to quite incredible lengths to help.

I produced distribution maps for each of my target species and these are reproduced here. The maps are based only on what I have been told and I don't wish to make the unsubstantiatable claims as to their validity - as I have mentioned, the loggerhead map is certainly to be questioned and I hope that someone in PNG might take the trouble to do some more checking.

Consider the leatherback turtle map. Mrs. Spring recorded nesting in Manus whereas my information is that the Manus population has been almost exterminated in recent years. The population on the north-east coast of the mainland is worth noting. It has been estimated that this is the fifth biggest nesting population in the world andthe biggest population in the South Pacific (Quinn, 1983). The area includes Labu Tale and probably supplies Australian waters with the bulk of their leatherbacks. All of these turtles must be considered to be threatened.

My colleagues at Unitech thought I had a negative attitude to my results but actually I was proud of them. I found the intangibility of the work frustrating and I have no claims to make about its scientific validity. Nevertheless, I feel that useful information is to be obtained by these techniques and that I obtained anecdotal data that was of some interest. If it was not the sort of hard scientific facts that I would have been happiest with, at least I was able to re-set my horizons in the light of what was to be had: with more time, I could have done a betterjob.

I close this section with a selection of stray observations from the report.

First, the prospects for marine turtles within Papua New Guinea are bad. My forms did not refer to Conservation or to the extermination of turtles and there was little space for extraneous information; yet more than twenty percent of respondents voiced concern for turtles or noted a severe reduction in their numbers. In the words of Colin Limpus: "these people would appear to be ripe for supporting better Conservation within PNG". I shall have more to say about this in the next section. Time after time I uncovered a story of merciless exploitation and declining populations - and local people are worried. I am particularly unhappy about the situation in the St. Matthias group of islands in New Ireland province. Turtles were formerly left in peace up there because the locals are staunch Seventh Day Adventists and forbidden their meat. It now seems that people from other areas are coming in specifically to harvest the turtles. They need to do this because they have wiped out their own populations.

Second, there is a rich vein of turtle lore in the country which must have grown over centuries and which is vanishing with the turtles. I did not originally seek this sort ofdata, and I regret that. I feel as ifI have had one chance drink from a vast lake which will not last the century. There were nice fairy tales from primary children: "... the eggs hatch after one and one halfmonths into fine baby turtles, lizards, snakes and crocodiles. These then make their way to where they are supposed to be." There was information on the kind of conditions which obtain when turtles come up to nest, often written in rather rarefied terms: "...when the stars and the sky is bright and the night is still and dark with splashes oflightning that steals the stillness of the dark, we say there will be a huge turtle nesting..." . There were reports of tabus on eating turtles and times when they had to be eaten - for funeral feasts and for initiation ceremonies. I collected one nice account from a Mortlock islander of how his uncle had been drowned by a big turtle (he forgot that one should not put one's hand between the shell and the neck and was dragged down). Since that time, the family has been protected at sea by turtles although it was tabu for his mother (= uncle's sister) to eat them now. Turtle lore was universally described as beingin the keeping ofthe old men ofthe village. There was even an account of "calling" turtles from the Sepik, which Sylvia Spring also encountered more clearly, ten years ago (Spring, 1980).

Third, there were specific stories that intrigued me and which I would have liked to have followed up. For example : I had information about tagged turtles being found along the north coast of the main island and in the vicinity ofSiassi. I did make an effort to track this down but with no success. There were contradictory stories here - some of the tagging (on Siassi) being ascribed to local people as a branding system of ownership; other tags sounding more like the sort of thing that is used by marine biologists in their population work in Queensland (and that might have shed some light on the problem I had with loggerhead turtles). I had reports ofbirds informing villages of the location of turtle nests (presumably, in return for a share of the spoils). These reports came from several provinces and I am sure that there is something in them. I had even arranged to interview someone who wrote such a report, just before I left, but a severe back injury prevented me from doing this.

I wish that I had had an additional year to work on my survey . It should have been possible to get scientific data from the fisheries authorities, and I ought to have managed to find out more about the Torres strait by approaching the Australians. My results are weak in Western and Gulf provinces. They are good in the Trobriands, North Solomons and New Ireland. A lot mOre could have been done.


Whether one approaches it aesthetically, morally, sentimentally or with a view to future economic realities, Conservation is a central issue of our time. I have worked in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea and in both places was impressed by the effects ofthe evangelical Christianity. I want to suggest that the self-confident proslytising ofthe missionaries must be matched by Conservationists if we are really to have an effect both here and in the third world and that the current fashion for liberal diffidence works against permanent gains for the green lobby, in addition to itself being a form of cultural patronage.

Third world people are often intensely nationalistic. They yearn for something to be proud ofand are increasingly reached by the whole media barrage of Hollywood, and of western advertising.

Papua New Guinea is the home of the world's largest butterfly. This massive creature was first captured by a shotgun blast eighty years ago and is now only found in one small forest close to the town of Popondetta in Oro province. The forest is scheduled for logging. Unscrupulous collectors will pay three thousand pounds for each specimen. It seems to be doomed.

But think how the idea of this butterfly could capture the national imagination and be used as a standard bearer for Conservation within the country. If PNG nationals knew what they were losing they would be inflamed and if that sort of fierce national pride could be harnessed we might really be able to make permanent environmental gains.

I made some suggestions in (Lockhart, 1989) about how local people could start turtle societies to protect and celebrate their turtles. Having seen the enthusiasm with which the Labu children greeted our efforts, I have become convinced thatjust a little money spent upon the creation of a national and international movement for Conservation (rather like the Boy Smuts, perhaps) would pay off richly in terms of the habitat Conservation and grass-root awareness that environmentaIists are agreed is so necessary.

The international preservation organisations do a lot of wonderful work; but they are bureaucratic, unwieldy, and it is easier to get forty thousand pounds out of them for a major campaign, than one small poster for a primary school. I know. because Ihave tried. We wrote tojust about everybody for advice and help with our reserve. We received many individual letters of support from people who are part of these great organisations, and that was to be expected because there is no doubt that such people are dedicated enthusiasts; but we got practical help from just two - the British Chelonia Group and Greenpeace. I don't want to appear too critical and I accept that some of the fault may lie with me, in approaching things in the wrong way or not setting out what we were attempting more clearly (but there again, we were rather feeling our way). However, my own opinion is that it is only the small flexible organisations or the radical and daring ones that will take a chance on something that may not be too well defined Or may have some risk attached.

My work was neither as scientific nor as professional as Mrs. Spring's. It was done quickly and cheaply because I found a way to get information from hundreds of little coastal places that no one could hope to visit or even know about. Conservation is going to have to be like that if it is to succeed. It must become organic, rather than centralised and prescriptive; and national pride might be harnessed to this end. The Conservation organisations must use the full force of the western media to motivate local initiative and organisation. A good wayto achieve this is through the national primary educational institutions. At worst this would simply augment the poor facilities that are endemic in the third world.

Whatever I hope we have spent the British Chelonia Groups money wisely and I am really grateful for their help. It , am used me to travel four hours by canoe and marshland track to arrive at a tiny school in an out-of-the-way place and be greeted by a British Chelonia Group poster on tortoise Conservation Cthis the only poster the school had!). The Labu Tale reserve did save some turtles and because it is there, there is a chance that more will be saved.


BEDDING S.J. & the Unitech Conservation Committee ( 1988). Maus Buang and Labu Tale Leatherback Turtle Conservation 1987- 1988. Mathemotics and Statistics Department report. The Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea.

BEDDING S.J. & LOCKHART R. ( 1990) Leatherback Turtle Conservation at Maus Buang and Labu Tali. PLES - An Environmental magazine for The South Pacific Region. The University of Papu a New Guinea, Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea.

BEDDING S.J. & LOCKHART R. ( 1989) Sea Turtle Conservation emerging in Papua New Guinea. Marine Turtle Newsletter 47. University ofCalifornia-San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.

HENG C.E. & CHARK L.W. ( 1982) The Leatherback Turtle - A Maloysian Heritage. Tropical Press Sdn Bhd, 229 Jalan Riong, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

LEAN G. (1988) Counting systems of Melanesio (Volumes 1-17, 1984/5 - 1988). The Papua New Guinea University of Technology , Lae, Papua New Guinea.

LIMPUS C.J & PARMENTER C.J. ( 1986) The sea turtles of the Strait region. Pages 95~lO7, Proc. ofthe Torres Strait Flsherles Seminar. Port Moresby, 11- 14 February 1985.

LOCKHART, R. ( 1989) Marine Turtles of Papua New Guinea. Technical Report 1-89 The Mathematics and Statistics Department, The Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea, (Also obtainable from: Koeltz Scientif-lc Books, D-6240 Koenigstein, P.O. Box 1360, West Germany).

QUINN N., ANGURU B., CHEE K., KEON 0. & MULLER P. (1983) Preliminary survey of Leatherback Rookeries in Morobe Province with notes on their biology. Research Report 83/1. Department of Fisheries, The Papua New Guinea University of Technology.

REBEL Thomas P. ( 1974) Sea Turtles. University of Miami Press.

SPRING C.S. ( 1984) Status of Marine Turtle Populations in Papua New Guinea. Proceedlngs of the World Conference on Sea Turtle Conservation 1981. In: Conservation of Sea Turtles (Ed. by Karen A. Bjorndal), Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC. pp 281-289, vol.3., no. 3, pp 54-65.

SPRING C.S. ( 1980). Turtles, Men and Magic, Papua New Guinea Wildlife Divison, P.O, Box 2585, Konedobu, Papua New Guinea,

Testudo Volume Three Number Two 1990