Research Program

Chelonian Conservation and Management

The Chelonian Conservation and Management Research Group develops research on the biology and ecology of chelonian species of the middle Solimões region with an emphasis on three primary species: Arrau turtle (Podocnemis expansa), yellow-spotted side neck turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) and the six-tuber cled river turtles (Podocnemis sextuberculata). The group also collaborates with traditional communities to conserve vulnerable species. 

Learn more about the turtle species we study:

Arrau turtle

Is the largest freshwater turtle in South America, reaching up to 90 cm in length. It is found throughout the entire Amazon Basin in white, black and clear water rivers. Females of this species lay their eggs in groups, with upwards of 100 individuals arriving at the beaches at the same time.  

Yellow-spotted side neck turtle

These animals measure between 31 and 38 centimeters in length, with females being larger than males. In some places, males are called januri or anuri. They also inhabit the Amazon Basin in white, black and, to a lesser extent, clear water rivers. They can lay eggs more than once a year.

© Amanda Lelis


In Amazonia, there are 16 chelonian species and 12 of them have been registered in the Mamirauá and Amanã Reserves. However, only the arrau turtle, yellow-spotted side neck turtle and six-tuber cleb river turtle lays its eggs on beaches bluffs. These species are considered a local delicacy and since they are easy to capture on the beaches, they wind up being the most threatened species. 

Amanda Lelis


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