The Peruvian government embarked on a mission this past August to hatch and release as many yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles as they could, and it appears that the efforts of Peru’s National Service of Protected Natural Areas by the State (SERNANP) has paid off. Volunteers and employees of SERNANP have begun releasing tens of thousands of hatchling turtles back into their natural habitat.
Volunteers and employees of SERNANP collected hundreds of thousands of yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle eggs in August and cared for them during the 70-day incubation period, according to a report on CNN. Many of the eggs laid by these Amazon River turtles, known locally as Taricaya, most likely would have been eaten by predators but hatching them and letting them grow a bit in captivity gives them a better chance at survival.
Employees of SERNANP as well as volunteers released an initial 17,000 baby turtles over the weekend, the first of three scheduled releases. They are being released in northeastern Peru’s Amazon River Basin, according to CNN.
The yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle is a protected species in Peru and is listed as Vulnerable by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Their average lifespan is around 60 to 70 years. With luck and preparation, efforts by SERNANP and its volunteers will increase the odds of survival for this reptile in its natural habitat.