Organization: Fundación BioDiversa Colombia
Location: Santa Sofia indigenous reserve in the Colombian Amazonia
Research: Initial Actions Towards the Conservation of Three Species of Endangered River Turtles in the Colombian Amazonia: Pilot Community Based Nests Monitoring and Educational Program
Species/Topic: Amazonian river turtles: the giant South American turtle (Podocnemis expansa), the yellow spotted river turtle (P. unifilis) and the six tuberculed river turtle (P. sextuberculata)
Abstract: Amazon turtles' populations, such as Podocnemis expansa, P. unifilis and P. sextuberculata, have been greatly reduced over the last decades. The main causes are high utilization levels by local communities and habitat destruction along the River. These turtles have reproductive periods and nesting beaches well known to local inhabitants, who predate and eat their eggs and nesting females. Nowadays, they are registered in the IUCN Red List. The goals of this pilot program are: first, to monitor the nesting sites in a beach of an indigenous reserve in the Colombian Amazonia; second, to undertake a strong educational campaign in the villages of the reserve, based on identification and use of traditional knowledge, active participation, and appropriation of the project by the community. The success of this pilot project will allow designing and implementing a medium and long term conservation strategy in the reserve and to extend it to other reserves in the area.