Volunteer Environmental Agents guide us through this incredible experience at Uakari Lodge
Conservation of turtles at Tapiira community
One of the greatest shows that I was able to witness during that time while guiding at Uakari Lodge was the reproduction of Large-billed Terns, Black Skimmers and Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtles on the beaches that form in the dry season.
As soon as the waters start to fall and the beaches appear, the birds are already taking care of them: the predominant sound is that of the vocalizations of the colonies of the Large-billed Tern (Phaetusa simplex) and of the couples of Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger), which still fly low towards us to protect their nests. It is important to wear protective helmets and try not to get too close to the nests (which is very difficult since they are scattered everywhere on the ground) during visits. This tour takes place from September to November with guests who opt for the seven-night package. There is always a community guide with us, who is also a Voluntary Environmental Agent (AAV).
These agents participate in the reproductive monitoring of turtles, an initiative of the riverside residents and which has a partnership with the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development (IDSM). The volunteers receive specific training and watch the beaches at night to identify the females going up the beach to spawn and during the day to ensure the integrity of the nests, after they are identified, the eggs are counted and the nest is isolated to prevent damage.
This program contributes to the research and conservation of three species (all under some degree of threat of extinction) of turtles that reproduce at Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve: the Giant South Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis expansa), Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) and Six-tubercled Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis sextuberculata). Our visits also have a contribution to the program: both economically (which is important since the agents are volunteers) and for the environmental education of everyone involved in the process. The turtles and birds thank you!
. Texto e imagens: Cynthia Lebrão