IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Summary

Chelodina mccordi (Family Chelidae) is a moderate-sized snake-necked turtle endemic to the tiny island of Roti (= Rote) in southeastern Indonesia. It has an extremely limited distribution and has been subjected to intense collection pressure for the international pet trade market, which has driven it into virtual commercial extinction. Recent field surveys have documented extremely depleted remaining populations still being impacted by persistent collection efforts, with remaining habitat areas also being reduced by agricultural development and conversion of swamps and marshland to rice fields. No major protected areas exist on Roti in C. mccordi habitat, but a previously proposed area, Tanjung Pukuwatu on the Tapuafu Peninsula, provides significant potential for critical habitat protection for some remnant turtle populations, and we strongly urge that Tanjung Pukuwatu be formally gazetted as a Wildlife (Game) Reserve (Suaka Margasatwa ). Captive breeding efforts through ex-situ assurance colonies also provide some hope for saving the species, but improved control of persistent illegal trade and creation of secure protected areas on Roti are urgently needed to prevent C. mccordi from becoming extinct in the wild.

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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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