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Ecología en Bolivia

Print version ISSN 1605-2528On-line version ISSN 2075-5023


YAPU-ALCAZAR, Mariela et al. Basis for the management of the river turtle Podocnemis unifilis in the Biosphere Reserve Beni Biological Station, Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2018, vol.53, n.1, pp.52-72. ISSN 1605-2528.

During the 1990s the Estación Biológica de Beni (EBB) started a program (Proyecto Quelonios) to increase the survival of eggs and hatchlings of the Amazonian aquatic turtle (Podocnemis unifilis). However, this program was carried out without an evaluation from the beginning. These turtles are of great importance to local people as they represent a source of food and income. In order to contribute to the management of P. unifilis in the EBB, we performed an analysis regarding the bases and the results obtained by the program. A workshop was held with T'simane community members and park rangers of the EBB to determine the uses that they give to this resource. With data on counts of adult turtles made by the park rangers, we estimated density and abundance of turtles at Maniqui river. We used a Lefkovitch matrix model to project the population trends of P. unifilis and to evaluate the impact on the managed populations. The main uses of P. unifilis are medicinal, and the eggs are the most commonly used product. Proyecto Quelonios contributed to the population growth of turtles; however, we determined that population dynamics are more sensitive to variations in survival probabilities of juveniles, sub-adults and adults than to those of eggs. To improve the program, we suggest a more effective protection of females.

Keywords : Elasticity; Matrix population models; Population monitoring; River turtle density; Sensitivity analysis; Wildlife use.

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