Challenges to the Conservation of River Turtles (spp. Podocnemis) in the Peruvian Amazon

Laso, Francisco

These images were captured during the summer of 2007 as part of an ongoing study that addresses habitat and community dynamics from broad to narrow ecological vantage points. Amazonian river turtles are ecologically important as they play an essential role in the seed dispersal of several fruit tree species in the flooded plain. These turtles also have religious, cultural, and economic significance for indigenous river communities. The endangered Amazonian river turtles Podocnemis expansa, P. unifilis, and P. sextuberculata are a local delicacy in Iquitos, Peru. Despite their importance and familiarity to people, we know very little about these species and commercial exploitation has decimated turtle populations outside natural reserves. Conservation of these species is aimed at the sustained wellbeing of the flooded forest ecosystem and its inhabitants. The hope is that future generations will inherit the success of our good stewardship rather than the failings of our negligence.

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Also Published In

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

More About This Work

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Earth Institute
Published Here
November 25, 2015