According to the Colombian Red Data Book of Reptiles, the species is in critical danger of extinction in the Orinoco while in the Amazon it has been classified as endangered. In both regions, its threat status is a result of hunting pressures.
Fishers irreparably disturb the sandy shores where turtles lay their eggs by spreading out their fishing lines and nets, lighting fires and creating noise with outboard motors.
Riverside communities will also go on outings along the sandy river banks to capture turtles, roast their meat and eat their eggs, not only putting an end to the adult female’s life, but also destroying the nests.
But there are good news from Peru. There, riverside indigenous communities are collecting eggs in order to release them in safety. These are encouraging early footsteps in sustainable management of the species.
The South American river turtle is considered Lower Risk – conservation dependent (LR/cd) in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.3