Turtles Targeted

TURTLES 2- Commercial exploitationAmbience, Red Footed TortoiseWe’re listening to the sounds of the Red Footed Tortoise. They’re one of many species of turtles around the world, that are being threatened by extinction. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Michael Klemens is Director of Turtle Conservation for the American Museum of Natural History.Klemens: Red-footed tortoises have been hunted by the peoples of South America for generations with really minimal impact. But now we have many large cities in South America and the catholic church has classified tortoises as fish, so prior to holy week there is a tremendous collection of red-footed tortoises all over South America. There’s much more sophisticated methods, modern ways of transporting tortoises. Thousands of tortoises are collected and brought to the cities for consumption in South America. What was once a small cottage industry, now becomes mechanized, and sophisticated. You have an urban market for them and all of a sudden tortoises are being removed at numbers that just can’t possibly replenish.And the reason they can’t be replenished is that turtles have a relatively long life span, but for a species to survive, they need to continue to breed and lay eggs over a thirty year to fifty year period. Now in the face of large scale commercial exploitation, the outlook for the next generation of turtles looks grim.Klemens: We have to devise programs where local peoples can continue to hunt and fish turtles, but where enough turtles are replenished. We really need the people that are there on sight to see an absolute economic benefit to conservation because turtles and people are going to have to share the world. We just want to sort of make the apportionment a little bit more in favor of the turtles.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Turtles Targeted

Prior to Holy Week in South America, red-footed tortoises best make themselves scarce. This archival program is part of our 30th anniversary celebration.
Air Date:07/17/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

TURTLES 2- Commercial exploitationAmbience, Red Footed TortoiseWe're listening to the sounds of the Red Footed Tortoise. They're one of many species of turtles around the world, that are being threatened by extinction. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Michael Klemens is Director of Turtle Conservation for the American Museum of Natural History.Klemens: Red-footed tortoises have been hunted by the peoples of South America for generations with really minimal impact. But now we have many large cities in South America and the catholic church has classified tortoises as fish, so prior to holy week there is a tremendous collection of red-footed tortoises all over South America. There's much more sophisticated methods, modern ways of transporting tortoises. Thousands of tortoises are collected and brought to the cities for consumption in South America. What was once a small cottage industry, now becomes mechanized, and sophisticated. You have an urban market for them and all of a sudden tortoises are being removed at numbers that just can't possibly replenish.And the reason they can't be replenished is that turtles have a relatively long life span, but for a species to survive, they need to continue to breed and lay eggs over a thirty year to fifty year period. Now in the face of large scale commercial exploitation, the outlook for the next generation of turtles looks grim.Klemens: We have to devise programs where local peoples can continue to hunt and fish turtles, but where enough turtles are replenished. We really need the people that are there on sight to see an absolute economic benefit to conservation because turtles and people are going to have to share the world. We just want to sort of make the apportionment a little bit more in favor of the turtles.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.