Roti Island Turtle Hatched At The Chattanooga Zoo
Friday, November 15, 2019
The Chattanooga Zoo announces the hatching of a Roti Island snake-necked turtle. The turtle started hatching on Nov. 3 and was successfully out of the egg on the 6th. This the first successful Roti Island snake-necked turtle hatching to take place at the Chattanooga Zoo. The Roti Island snake-necked turtle is considered critically endangered and this hatching is a great step towards the Zoo’s efforts to conserve this species in the wild. officials said. Experienced mother, Nessie, and hatchling are said to be doing great.
In June 2019, the Chattanooga Zoo began housing this species with the acquisition of a single female from the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Oh.
through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. The SSP is a population management program that focuses on the breeding of threatened species within AZA-accredited institutions in efforts to reintroduce these species in the wild. While at the Columbus Zoo, Nessie was placed with a male for breeding and she laid a clutch of eggs at the Chattanooga Zoo in August. At this time, one of her eggs has hatched and is thriving, but with three healthy eggs awaiting, staff are confident they will produce more successful hatchlings soon.
“As a new participant in this SSP, we are proud that Nessie has produced these eggs,” said Kate Gore, keeper III of herpetology. "Since these turtles are critically endangered, we are pleased to contribute to raising the population through this hatching.”
"Roti Island snake-necked turtles are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List with only two known populations surviving in the wild. They are threatened mostly due to being heavily targeted in the pet trade and limited habitat. They are indigenous to the small island of Rote in Indonesia and are known for their strikingly long necks," officials said.
At this time, the Roti Island snake-necked turtle will not be placed in the public viewing habitat.