The Palawan Forest Turtle is endemic to the Palawan island-group in the Philippines and can be found in streams in undisturbed forest. Surveys indicated an alarming 70% decline in the adult population over the past decade. Primarily threatened by collection for international trade, habitat loss and degradation are also contributing threats. The turtle is also consumed locally and utilised in traditional medicines.
Katala Foundation established a conservation breeding and reintroduction programme for the Palawan Forest Turtle in 2007. The first captive-bred turtles hatched in 2018 and subsequent years have seen success. In 2021 the centre was badly affected by typhoon Kompasu and fertile eggs were destroyed by the floods. With the La Nina expected to continue into 2022 and tropical cyclones predicted to develop in the area, there is an urgent need to safeguard the eggs, hatchlings, and juveniles of the only Palawan Forest Turtle assurance colony.
In order to continue conserving and restoring Palawan Forest Turtle populations by maintaining the species’ only assurance colony, Katala Foundation is building a flood-proof hatchery that will be able to safely accommodate turtles of various developmental stages. Having weather-resilient infrastructure will be important in allowing the release efforts of captive-bred individuals to safe locations on the island to continue.
“Katala Foundation Inc. holds the only assurance colony of the Palawan Forest Turtle Siebenrockiella leytensis and successfully breeds the species since 2018. To safeguard eggs, hatchlings and small juveniles from weather extremes caused by climate change, ASAP provided the funds for the construction of a hatchery – specifically designed for the needs of this critically endangered species.” Sabine Schoppe, Director, Philippine Freshwater Turtle Conservation, Katala Foundation Inc.
Project reports will be added here
The ASAP Species Rapid Action Fund is supported by: