Chelodina longicollis

Snake-neck turtle

Family: Chelidae

Origin: Australia

Snake neck turtle from above with neck out.
Snake-neck turtles are a semi-aquatic species. They have a light brown to black oval shell, with a shallow groove down the middle.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Aotea — Exclusion
  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Medium-sized turtle, black to light brown oval shell with a shallow central groove. Neck is long (around 60% of shell length), narrow and covered with small bumps.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not release any snake-neck turtle from containment within the Auckland region.
  • You must not move any snake-neck turtle to Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • You must not breed, distribute or release any snake-neck turtle on Aotea / Great Barrier Island group.
  • From 1 September 2022, you will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell any snake-neck turtle within the Auckland region.
  • If you pet-sit / provide temporary accommodation for other people’s animals, you’re also covered for receiving them, as long as you keep them securely contained while they are staying with you. However, if you receive animals on a more permanent basis, such as rescue centres, where ownership is changing hands, then you need to apply for an exemption for this activity. You can apply for free using this application form.


Slow-moving waterbodies, wetlands, lakes, farm dams, ponds, streams, rivers, urban areas.

Impact on environment

Eats zooplankton, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, amphibians, carrion, fish and crustaceans. Can transmit diseases to native reptiles.



If you have pet snake-neck turtles, make sure they’re securely contained to avoid accidental escapes.

If you are no longer able to look after your pet snake-neck turtle, find someone who is prepared to give it a lifetime home, or contact a relevant pet shop or animal rescue organisation to get it rehomed.

Never release a snake-neck turtle into the wild – your pet may be unable to find the food and shelter it needs, and it also puts our native species at risk.

If you see a snake-neck turtle in the wild, please report it to Auckland Council at