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Species Conservation

Because every species has its unique and irreplaceable roles within an ecosystem

Every species is part of a complex network of interactions, and the loss of one species can have far-reaching consequences throughout the ecosystem. The extinction of a species can trigger a cascade of negative effects, impacting other species and ecosystem dynamics. By protecting species, we help maintain the intricate balance of nature.


Through the years, conservation involves a very tough and complex works. We learned that to save the species and its ecosystem, problems should be addressed and resolved holistically and comprehensively in order to achieve more effective outcomes. Therefore, we believe the One Plan Approach is the best approach for our species conservation program because it recognizes that species and ecosystem are interconnected, and addressing their conservation needs collectively can lead to better conservation outcomes.


Initially, our rescue facility held a 19 Malayan Giant Turtle that were confiscated from illegal pet trade in 2003. It was only started in 2018 when we did the disposal assessment of whole animal resident and found out the actual number of MGT individuals are 40, meaning some individuals were detected able to breed!

The Malayan Giant Turtle (Orlitia borneensis) distributed along Peninsular Malaysia and its population has depleted so much of its range – recently stated as Critically Endangered by IUCN – and at least 80% of population has declined over the last 90 years! Poaching and habitat loss are the biggest threat for this species.

We thought that restoring the population of Malayan Giant Turtle is very important, especially to help protect the freshwater ecosystem.


Considering our expertise in ex-situ field, also in-line with the conservation action priority for this species, we believe establishing an assurance colony through conservation breeding is recognized as a first, crucial conservation step in restoring the MGT populations in the wild.

In our ongoing initiative to conserve the Malayan Giant Turtle, we have compiled a comprehensive collection of scientific references to inform and enhance our conservation efforts for this species. A thorough search and observation have been applied to collate articles and research findings, ensuring a robust foundation for our conservation program.

Nevertheless, some references may have escaped our attention, and we apologize in advance. However, we are open to receiving feedback and/or input if any of you discover articles or relevant sources about this species or have further questions. Please reach out to us at [email protected], so that we can update this list of references.


Saving Malayan Giant Turtle from the Brink of Extinction, Phase I: establishing a healthy and genetically viable assurance colony

Our turtle conservation program launched in 2021 has yielded significant results, with several groups of Malayan giant turtles exhibiting signs of productivity and breeding. This discovery raises hopes for an increase in the population of this endangered species in the coming years. To ensure the success of the program, we collaborated with Gembiraloka Zoo, Konklusi Foundation, and the Indonesia Herpetofauna Foundation under the supervision of BKSDA Yogyakarta. Funding support was received from the IUCN ASAP. In 2022, the population of Malayan giant turtles was transferred to Gembiraloka Zoo.

Finally, in November this year, eight eggs hatched, marking a significant milestone for our conservation efforts. The program aims to establish a sustainable population of the endangered Malayan Giant Turtle, and the success of the hatching raises hopes for increased populations of this species in the wild.

In the future, we would like to build a home for this population on the new site while continuing to develop the program in the next phase.

Tojeiro volunteered at WRC in 2018 and instantly fell in love. He decided to leave his job in the Netherlands to work alongside our keepers, managing projects and making sure all the animals get the best care possible. During the relocation period, Tojeiro studied animal health management to increase his capacity in the field of animal welfare.