Friday, 17 April 2015

Voices of Rare 'Talking' Turtles May Prevent Their Extinction

Camila Ferrara, Wildlife Conservation Society | April 17, 2015 12:13am ET

Camila Ferrara is an aquatic turtle specialist with the Brazil Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). She contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Years ago, in the Brazilian Amazon, I was exposed to a prevalent philosophy for how animals relate to humans, one I did not expect. To the indigenous people I encountered, an animal's primary purpose was to be eaten for food, and many of those people had never considered that such animals could become extinct. That perspective both scared and motivated me.

I made the decision to move to Manaus in the Amazon, and have since devoted myself to working with science colleagues and local communities to conserve wildlife, especially endangered turtles. Since the time of the Portuguese Empire, Amazonian turtles have been an important source of protein in the Amazon, but due to the uncontrolled consumption of their eggs and meat, turtles are now among the most endangered animals in the region.

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