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SOS: Turtles in need

Yellow-spotted river turtle eggs are a delicacy in Peru. Communities who once collected the eggs to eat themselves are now selling them for ever higher prices, pushing the turtles to the brink of extinction.

Watch video 06:46

Saving turtles in Peru

Project area: The Bahuaja Sonene National Park stretches for more than a million hectares along the border of Peru and Bolivia
Project aim: Protection of the ecosystem and biodiversity
Project implementation: Monitoring threatened species, development of management plans for resource protection, knowledge support for park management, strengthening the role of local communities in protecting ecosystems and expanding the possibility for environmentally-friendly development
Biodiversity: Hotspot with almost 200 mammals, including the giant otter, marsh deer, maned wolf, puma, jaguar and more than 600 species of birds, as well as reptiles such as the anaconda.

Nowhere else in the world are there so many animal and plant species as in the tropical forests of Madres de Dios in the Amazon of southeastern Peru. The area includes the Bahuaja Sonene National Park, which lies along the border of Bolivia. Numerous indigenous communities, such as the Ese Eja, live in the region. People have lived from hand to mouth there for centuries, hunting to take only as much as they needed. But a growing population has stretched resources — and as hunted bounty has turned into a traded commodity, one species after another is disappearing.

The Frankfurt Zoological Society (ZGF) has been fighting for years to preserve the unique ecosystem. The organization observes and documents the species, and draws up plans to enable sustainable use of resources. The ZGF also supports indigenous communities in finding alternative sources of income. The aim is to protect nature through win-win strategies.

A film by Inga Sieg

 

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