Rote Island

Rote island is part of Lesser Sunda Region. This island is located in Southernmost East Nusa Tenggara. Rote island has a long dry season in a year. As its geographic location that is close to Australia and Papua, one of Chelidae’s species is distributed in this Island. The species is endemic for this island. Rote island snake-necked turtle (Chelodina mccordi) is the only turtle species can be found in this island. Unfortunately, this species is one of the world’s rarest turtles (Turtle Conservation Coalition, 2011). In 2023, WCS-IP  supported the government to do Reintroduction of Rote's Turtle in Lake Ledulu in Rote Island.



Main threat for this species was illegal trading that occurred between 1980 – 2000. Many turtles has been exported in past caused population decline for the species. Furthermore, land changing and increased activity in habitat area of turtle has made reduction in habitat number in the island.


What we do

WCS-Rote Island program has been starting since 2016.The main focus of this program is to bring back C. mccordi to their natural habitat in Rote island and stabilize the population. The main activity of WCS-Rote Island Program here are:

  • Assessment the last status of C. mccordi in Rote island
  • Enhancement of awareness for C. mccordi in Rote island and East Nusa Tenggara due to its status (almost extinct in the wild)
  • Implementation of species conservation program (C. mccordi), especially in species reintroduction.
  • Establishment of breeding center for C. mccordi in Rote island, - initiation of Essential Ecosystem Areas (KEE) as a model for protecting reintroduced habitats
  • Community awaremess program - Habitat restoration (eradiction of invasive species)
  • Construction of the "Assurance Colony" Facility for the rote snake neck turtle
  • 13 Rote turtles form repatriation in assurance colony facilities