ASAP Species Conservation Grants

Organisation: Wildlife Rescue Centre Jogja – Yayasan Konservasi Alam Yogyakarta

Project title: Saving Malayan Giant Turtle from brink of extinction, Phase I: establishing healthy and genetically viable assurance colony

Location: Java, Indonesia

Project date: January 2022 – May 2023 (ongoing)

Species: Malayan Giant Turtle Orlitia borneensis

The challenge

The Malayan Giant Turtle has been depleted in much of its range and at least 80% of the population has declined over the last 90 years. Poaching and habitat loss are the biggest threats for the species. In the past, authorities have frequently confiscated this species from poachers/traders which were then transferred to either zoos or wildlife rescue centres.  

Establishing assurance colonies through conservation breeding is recognised as a crucial conservation step in restoring the Malayan Giant Turtle populations in the wild. There are currently no assurance colonies or records of captive breeding for the species in its native range, despite the frequent confiscations of individuals from the illegal wildlife trade in the region.  

The project

Wildlife Rescue Centre Jogja currently holds a population of captive Malayan Giant Turtles that were confiscated from the illegal pet trade. The aim of this project is to establish a healthy and genetically viable assurance colony of Malayan Giant Turtles by identifying founder individuals for the assurance colony and developing appropriate housing facilities and husbandry management approaches. The team will also develop a species care protocol and train more staff in order to build capacity for their Malayan Giant Turtle conservation breeding programme.  

“We are thankful to have ASAP supporting our project. ASAP does not only provide financial support, but it is much more than that. ASAP makes it easy for us to communicate, consult, and connect our project to the experts whenever we encounter difficulties. That is super, especially when we work to conserve a challenging species with the very limited information available about that species.” – Irhamna Putri

Project reports

Project reports will be added here

Photo credit: Yerian Ramadhan

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