Singapore is set to return a number of snake-necked turtles, which originated from East Nusa Tenggara, to Indonesia.
The Wildlife Conservation Society Program (WCS-IP) and Wildlife Reserve Singapore will conduct the repatriation programme. In the next couple of months, the turtles will be shipped to Indonesia.
Over the years, they have been bred by different organisations in different countries. Twenty-six turtles which have been bred in various countries are currently at Singapore Zoo. According to Timbul Batubara, the head of the East Nusa Tenggara Resource Conservation Center (BBKSDA), they are still negotiating the number of turtles which will be sent back to their natural habitat.
The Rote Island snake-necked turtle has been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Unlike other species of turtle, their distinct, long necks make it impossible for them to pull their heads back inside their shell. The species no longer exist in its natural habitat in Peto Lake, Rote Island, due to the conversion of natural lakes into farmlands.
“We will conduct several phases of the repatriation from the various different sources, such as from America and Europe,” Timbul stated. He also hopes that the repatriation will be completed by the end of this year.
Source: The Jakarta Post