Hundreds and thousands of Giant South American River turtle hatchlings flooded the river banks of Brazil earlier this week as some hailed it as a Tsunami of turtles. The video was posted by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) that showed myriad turtle hatchlings whose scientific name is Podocnemis expansa. According to WCS, the turtle babies were emerging from a sandy beach in a protected area along the Purus River, which is a tributary of the Amazon River in Brazil.
The video has garnered over 20.5 k views on Twitter as netizens express their awe. One of the users commented, “A tsunami we all would like to see…,” while others congratulated the WCS conservationists for this awesome scene.
TURTLE TSUNAMI! @TheWCS releases incredible footage of mass hatching of locally endangered turtle: https://t.co/apenzRSzxd pic.twitter.com/KhA1aQsNYc— WCS Newsroom: #EarthStrong (@WCSNewsroom) December 14, 2020
The mass coming out of these turtles took place in the Reserva Biológica do Abufari (Abufari Biological Reserve) where animal conservationists from WCS Brazil have been monitoring adult females. The conservationists have been keeping a track of adult female turtles and their nests before, during, and after the birth of the hatchlings. The study is being conducted to improve the management and protection of this endangered species, which has been impacted by trafficking of their meat and eggs.
According to the WCS Brazil press release, the conservationists say the emergence occurred over several days during which period, around 71,000 hatchlings emerged in a day alone, while another 21,000 and few emerged days later.
WCS Brazil quoted Camila Ferrara, their Aquatic Turtle Specialist, who said that for the endangered giant South America river turtle, birth is an explosion of life as the video suggests quite clearly.
However, Camila also pointed out that it is one of their most fragile times as well. The mass birth is a way of increasing survival and the synchronization of birth allows these species to travel together to the river to start their new life.
The Giant South American river turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in Latin America. It can grow up to three and a half feet that is almost 1.07 meters and they can weigh upto 200 pounds that is 90 kilograms. These species of turtles play a crucial ecological role in nature as they disperse seeds that eventually help regenerate vegetation along river corridors around the Amazon basin.
WCS Brazil leads the project of conservation of these turtles in collaboration with ICMBIO and are sponsored by Fundação o Boticário. The Wildlife Conservation Society is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is based out of Bronx Zoo in New York City in the United States. The NGO aims to conserve the world's largest wild places in 14 priority regions.