Every summer, along the banks of the Amazon, from July to the end of August, the freshwater Taricaya Turtles, the local name for the yellow spotted river turtle, begin to lay their eggs in the sand. Due to illegal turtle egg poaching, these tiny turtles have become an endangered species, so our team at Aqua Expeditions is doing everything we can to protect their future. Wildlife conservation is an integral value at Aqua Expeditions and we take seriously our responsibility to protect wildlife habitats and the Amazon’s environment.
Since 2008, Aqua Expeditions has been working with naturalists at the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve to help increase the size of the Taricaya Turtle population. In 2012, in coordination with the director of the Reserve, we expanded our efforts to restore the population of this vulnerable species by building an artificial beach at our private lounge in Nauta City. This allowed us to incubate the Taricaya eggs that were donated by the Reserve and we regularly encourage as many guests as possible to get involved each year to assist in this effort. Here’s a video you might enjoy showing our turtle preservation efforts in action:
We are fast approaching the time where the Amazon River water levels begin to recede (July to November). This is a crucial time for the turtles as the female adults, five years old and above, start to lay their eggs in the sandy banks. During this period, volunteer groups, trained and managed by the Pacaya Samiria Reserve staff, will carefully collect the eggs that are laid inside the conservation area. Some of these eggs will then be brought safely to the artificial beach at Nauta and carefully buried in the protected area. The Reserve’s team then continually monitors their progress until hatching time 70 days later.
Once the eggs have hatched and the new baby turtles are free from their egg shells, Aqua Expeditions’ passengers have the unique opportunity to release these wonderful little creatures into the National Reserve, under the watchful guidance of our naturalists. These memorable moments happen throughout November and are not to be missed!
A total of 202 Taricaya Turtles were successfully hatched in November 2013. We can’t wait to keep you informed on the wonderful journey of this year’s eggs and hopefully bring you many more pictures of the hatchlings’ release back into the wild come November 2014.