For the past few years, turtles are being desired worldwide. The exact reason for this is unknown. However, this has only pushed them towards extinction due to illegal trades which are not just local but also international. One other turtle which is on the list is the Roti snake-necked turtle also known as McCord's snakeneck turtle. They are captivating turtles that can only be found on the Rotie island of Indonesia. They were later split into two different groups Chelodina mccordi rotensis and Chelodina mcordi timorensis. Both groups belong to the Rote island, the former belongs to the eastern side while the latter is on the western side. Both the groups are very similar.
The Roti Island snake-necked turtle is a type of turtle.
The Roti Island snake-necked turtle (Chelodina mccordi) belongs to the Reptilia class and Chelidae family.
The population of this species has declined dramatically since 2001, to the point where legal trading in them has been prohibited. However, the exact number of individuals remaining is unclear. There are only two species of this turtle left on Roti Island.
The Roti Island snake-necked turtle species (Chelodina mccordi) are exclusively found on the Rote island of Indonesia. It has two populations that are scattered across a 70-square-kilometer area to the east and west. The western population is comparatively larger and is situated in the main island's southwestern and mid-central interior plateau region, whereas the eastern population is found in the northeastern Lakes and along the southeastern boundary.
This freshwater species has a relatively small range. Their usual habitat consists of semi-permanent shallow inland lakes and marshes, particularly those that are nutrient-rich. They also live in nearby rice fields. Since they are not totally dependent on wet environments, they can be found hidden behind boulders and dense foliage during the dry seasons. They do not prefer to burrow in the mangrove habitat or to remain dormant. According to the locals, they are often seen in streams.
This turtle species is solitary, living most of its life secluded from fellow mates except for hibernation periods. During this period they are found in pairs under a rock.
Snake-necked turtles typically live into their 30s. This species reaches sexual maturity at a much later age, around the age of seven or eight. As a result, the lifespan of the individuals might be between 30-32 years. This is just an approximation.
They are oviparous and reproduce by breeding which begins in the early days of February and lasts until the end of September. The breeding process is initiated by males. They mate in moist areas, primarily in water bodies, and have many sexual partners. They travel to fairly dry areas after mating, and eggs are placed in safe locations following a 146-day gestation period. Typically, the female lays one clutch of 9-13 eggs. In late November, hatchlings can be observed.
Populations were reduced significantly in 2001 as a result of trade which has put them on the verge of extinction. As per the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of this species in Rote Island (Indonesia) is Critically Endangered. They are designated in CITES Appendix I as having a zero export quota, which means that transporting it is prohibited.
In comparison to other turtles in their family (Chelidae), this species is medium-sized. They are light gray-brown to chestnut brown in color. The head and neck feature rough, spiky projections and are darker than the shell. The carapace is tough and has a dull brown hue. The yellow bottom shell, as it approaches the tail, it broadens. Females are heavier and larger than males. The carapace is hard and has a dull brown color. The neck is about two-thirds of the length of the carapace, and the iris is black with yellow rims.
The fascinating beauty of these turtles has put them in the spotlight, causing them to be listed as a Critically Endangered species in the IUCN Red List. The spiky projections on them are rarely seen in other turtles which makes them one-of-a-kind.
Data on the communication method of Chelodina mccordiis vague. It is assumed that they communicate by the emission of pheromones. They also convey messages by moving their body and by making contact. Other senses such as visual and aural are utilized to identify predators and other hazards in their habitat.
The carapace length of these turtles is between 7-9.4 in (18-24 cm) while in the juveniles it is 1 in (2.5 cm).
The speed at which this species travel is unknown.
The Roti Island snake-necked turtle (Chelodina mccordi) weighs around 1.3 lb (0.602 kg).
The male and female populations of this species have no specific names. They are either called turtles of Rote Island (Indonesia) or McCord's snakeneck turtle.
The baby Roti Island snake-necked turtle is called a turtlet.
The snake-necked turtle Chelodina mccordi feeds on fish, tadpoles, water plants, insects such as water striders, and plankton. The long neck ad strong jaw aids in catching the prey quickly. They are often eaten by feral pigs, wading birds, water rats.
Snake-necked turtles can sometimes be dangerous. They have strong jaws and can bite. Their bites can cause a lot of pain. Once they get a hold of you it is hard to make them let go. However, this is very unlikely and rare. They are venomous. The venom is not strong enough to harm humans it is only meant to kill their prey or injure predators. This species also possesses spiky projections on its neck, although it is unknown what harm these might do it is better to keep a distance.
Absolutely not. This species is on the verge of extinction and the last thing they need is to be held as pets, away from their natural habitat. Their populations are said to do well only in specific conditions which might be hard to meet unless you are a professional.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
The neck of this species is so long that they find it difficult to fit it back into the shell. Instead, they tuck their neck sideways.
This turtle is endemic to the Rote island, Indonesia.
This species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Their numbers have been severely depleted as a result of the worldwide pet trade, which has also driven them to the brink of extinction. Another cause for this is the loss of habitat. These turtles already have a small range. Suitable habitat is further dwindling within that range. The Ministry of Forestry Decree considers this species to be a national conservation priority. However, the government of Indonesia has made very little contribution towards the conservation of these turtles.
This species belonging to the Rote island, Indonesia produces 9-13 eggs. The males initiate the breeding process and they mate in water. Once the courtship is over the male species grabs the carapace of the female species with his sharp claws from behind and starts mating.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Mangrove snake facts and Anaconda snake interesting facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Roti island snake-necked turtle coloring pages.
Main image by H. Zell.
Second image by Postdlf,