Baby Amazon turtle leaves its egg on the Tabuleiro do Embaubal sandbank, Pará, Brazil.



Posted on 17 November 2010  | 
On November 3, WWF-Brazil has launched the video "Tabuleiro do Embaubal and the Amazon turtles". The 18 minute long video (with 4' and 30" versions), narrates the hatching of thousands of Amazon turtles and the work of fishermen, students and riverside dwellers to guarantee the reproduction of the species at Juncal beach located on the Xingu river in the municipality of Senador José Porfírio, Pará state.

The Tabuleiro do Embaubal is one of 190 priority areas for the creation of new protected areas identified by WWF-Brazil as part of its movement “Caring for Nature means caring for Life”.

The movement aims to show the connection between Nature conservation and the population’s quality of life. To encourage participation, the movement is holding a cultural competition and the prize is a trip to the Amazon for the winner selected from among those that access the site and answer the question "Why do you need Nature to live?". The answer can be found among an interesting set of material displayed at the movement’s site - www.wwf.org.br/cuidardanatureza.

A tabuleiro is a beach or a complex of beaches used by turtles to deposit their eggs. The Tabuleiro do Embaubal, a set of islands in the lower Xingu river, is the major egg-laying site of the Giant South American turtle (Podocnemis expansa), a species that together with other turtle species like the six-tuberculed river turtle, locally called the pitiú or iaçá (Podocnemis sextuberculata) and the yellow-spotted Amazon turtle or tracajá (Podocnemis unifilis), populates the Amazonian rivers, creeks and lakes.

Today, Tabuleiro do Embaubal is the biggest turtle nursery in the Americas and it is threatened by increasingly severe droughts, floods and the growing presence of human populations on the banks of the Xingu. Turtles and their eggs are still being intensely and illegally consumed throughout the Amazon region.

Researchers, public bodies and the inhabitants of riverside communities living near to the complex of islands are working together to conserve the Tabuleiro do Embaubal and the Amazon turtles. The purpose of the documentary is to show what is being done and to make society aware of the need to protect this nursery area for the Amazon turtles.
Peruvian biologist Ana Maria collects newly hatched Yellow-spotted river turtles (Podocnemis unifilis) for later marking, along beach on the Manu River as part of scientific research for sustainable solutions to its use by indigenous people.
© André Bästschi / WWF Canon Enlarge

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