Between 1975 and 2004 the giant South American river turtle (Podocnemis expansa) as well as Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis sextuberculata had part of their nesting beaches protected. This resulted in the release of approximately 46 million hatchlings and the apparent recovery of these species in some areas; however, this ranching program faces operational and bureaucratic difficulties. In addition, harvesting wild populations is banned by Brazilian law, thereby excluding local villagers from using this natural resource.
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Vol. 13 • No. 1