When it comes to the fight for saving vulnerable and endangered animals, conservationists don’t often find themselves on the winning side.
But the small South American nation of Peru just scored a big win for one of their vulnerable turtle species, the yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle, known by locals as taricayas.
The Peruvian government conservation group, the National Service of Protected National Areas, is releasing half a million taricayas into Peru’s Amazon River Basin in a series of 3 releases. These releases began in October and will end in November.
This conservation effort gives hope to a species of turtle that has been in rapid decline over the years due to over-harvesting of their eggs, a delicacy to locals, and the destruction of habitat.
Initially, turtle eggs were collected by volunteers working with the Peruvian government. They were incubated in man-made habitats for 70 days. Once hatched, the baby turtles are set free.
Conservationists hope that many of these turtles will live out their more than 70 years of life and bring back a species threatened with extinction.
Local residents gathered to cheer the release of these baby turtles.