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Estrades, A., Clavijo-Baquet, S., & Fallabrino, A. , Turtles on their last legs: the state of freshwater chelonian species conservation in uruguay. Paper presented at Turtle Survival Alliance 2007 Annual Meeting. 
Added by: Admin (13 Dec 2008 22:23:39 UTC)   Last edited by: Beate Pfau (18 Nov 2010 10:38:25 UTC)
Resource type: Proceedings Article
BibTeX citation key: Estrades2007b
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Categories: General
Keywords: Chelidae, Emydidae, Habitat = habitat, Hydromedusa, Hydromedusa tectifera, Mesoclemmys, Phrynops, Phrynops williamsi, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises, Südamerika = South America, Trachemys, Trachemys dorbigni
Creators: Clavijo-Baquet, Estrades, Fallabrino
Collection: Turtle Survival Alliance 2007 Annual Meeting
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Five species of freshwater turtles can be found in Uruguay: the Emydidae “Morrocoyo” (Trachemys dorbignyi) and four species of the Chelidae family: the Hilarie´s Side-necked turtle (Phrynops hillari), the William´s Toadhead turtle (Phrynops williamsi), the Black Spine-necked Swamp Turtle (Anchantochelys spixii), and the South-American Snake-headed Turtle (Hydromedusa tectifera). Multiple threats take their toll, but uncontrolled and non-sustainable direct commercial exploitation has been the single-most damaging factor. International pressure on the rare and little known Phrynops williamsi is exacerbated by continuous extractions of the other species to satisfy the local market, and lead wild populations toward extinction. Currently, the total magnitude of this trade is unknown. A superstitious belief that leads to the killing of turtles is the misconception that their bite is venomous and lethal. The collective fear present in the countryside population is inducing the systematically extermination of all turtles. The misinformation is such that there isn’t a rational relationship among the “small and beautiful” hatchings and neonates sold as mascots and the “horrible and dangerous” mature specimens. As for the pet specimens, little information of its maintenance exists, and most of the hatchings die in the first months of life for easily avoidable problems (skin fungus, poor feeding, and injury), and when the pets turn into juveniles and adults, they are released due to their large size and ferocity. Additionally, there are no studies which evaluate the impact of habitat alteration and contamination on freshwater turtles in Uruguay. The design and implementation of a long-term research program is urgent, together with the development of educational programs in rural localities, with special focus on children.
Added by: Admin  Last edited by: Beate Pfau
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