The yellow spotted side-necked turtle (Podocnemsis unifilis) is a river turtle of the Amazon, is in danger of extinction due to human activities. In Puerto Maldonado, the eggs are sold in the local markets and the excessive poaching plus other activities that destroy their habitat has drastically diminished this species population in the area.
Since 2005, Taricaya Ecological Reserve, with the government authority’s permission, is in charge of the annual monitoring of Playa Alta island in the middle of the Madre de Dios River. Staff and volunteers collect the eggs during the laying season (July/August) and transfer them to artificial beaches at Taricaya where we await the occlusion of the eggs in October/November. Then, the young turtles are marked with a code for later census as part of the project and released into the river at the island. To date we have released over 10,000 baby turtles to become part of the ecological chain and help restore the populations of this endangered species.
VISIT THE PROJECT: Take a hike to the farm and visit the artificial beaches of the project, see the few turtles we keep every year in the rescue center for research purposes. Watch how the nests are relocated (July/August stay) or the hatchling and new born turtles (October-November stay).
BE PART OF THE TURTLE RELEASE: On NOVEMBER 5th of every year we gather all the baby turtles born in the season and we travel upriver for 15minutes to Playa Alta Island and release the turtles into the river. SAFE THE DATE and be part of this amazing one in a lifetime event!