Wetlands Researcher, Iwokrama International Centre
Location: North Rupununi, Guyana
Research: Conservation of the Giant River Turtle (Podocnemis expansa) and the Yellow Spotted River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) in the North Rupununi Wetlands, Guyana
Species/Topic: Podocnemis expansa and Podocnemis unifilis
Abstract: The North Rupununi Wetlands represent wetlands and river systems of global importance. There are records of more than 400 species of fish from surveys of rivers in this wetland area. This dynamic wetland system is also home to endangered giants including the Giant Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger), Arapaima (Arapaima gigas) and Giant River Turtles (Podocnemis expansa), just to name a few. This project is aimed at assessing the distribution of the Giant River Turtle and the Yellow Spotted River Turtle in the North Rupununi Wetlands. Methods to be used include GIS mapping of nesting sandbanks, observations on nest ecology of the turtles, integration of traditional ecological knowledge and visual and interactive aids to promote the conservation of these reptiles.