Yellowfoot Tortoises status : seed dispersal, trends & exploitation


Oct 3, 2020
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Good evening friends

I keep reading and finding amazing things I would love to share.

It seems that our tortoises are responsible for planting seeds in a massive amount. The results of the enclosed study suggest that Our results suggest that C. denticulata plays an important role in seed dispersal in Amazonian forests. The estimated seed shadows are likely to contribute significantly to the dispersal of seeds away from parent plants. During the dry season seeds were dispersed, on average, 174.1 m away from the location of fruit ingestion; during the rainy season, this mean dispersal distance increased to 276.7 m (see attached article snippet).
This is the exciting part of my post. The second piece is bothersome and upsetting so forgive me but all for the cause of consciousness raising and to point that we all play a role in conservation as long as we keep a tight care protocols.

The ecosystem of the rainforest will flourish if hunter and meat market folks leave them be.

Yellow-foot Tortoises have the reputation of being more delicate than reds. Even so, captive-hatched Yellow-foot Tortoises are among the best pet tortoises. They are very personable and fairly easy to keep. This tortoise is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: VU - Vulnerable and and listed on CITES: Appendix II. Populations of The Yellow Foot Tortoise, Geochelone denticulata are in a state of rapid decline in Peru. The meat of the motelo, as it is called by many Peruvians, is a prized delicacy. Motelo soup and dishes are frequently offered in restaurants, even in upscale restaurants in tourist centers. Markets in Belen and Yurimaguas frequently boast tables piled high with butchered denticulata and small mountains of their eggs, which, of course are coveted for their perceived aphoristic effects. Without a doubt populations must be teetering on the verge of a collapse, decades of intense pressure have taken their toll

Most tortoise captures were linked to opportunistic encounters with the animal (59.1%, n = 357) when performing other activities, such as hunting other species, fishing, farming, or gathering Brazil nuts. However, the number of intentional tortoise-hunting events was high (41.9%, n = 253), indicating that hunters highly prize this species. Hunting of female tortoises occurred more frequently than the hunting of male tortoises (57.4%, n = 313 females; 42.6%, n = 232 males; χ 2 = 1.22, df = 1, p < 0.05) in both upland and whitewater flooded forests ( χ 2 = 3.51, df = 2, p > 0.05). Females and males presented similar straight carapace lengths, which were 402.8 ± 35 mm for females and 405.1 ± 51 mm for males (t = 0.67, df = 484, p > 0.05). The same relationship was observed for the weight of the hunted individuals (F 1,310 = 2.51, p > 0.05). However, the whitewater flooded forests yielded significantly heavier tortoises than the upland forests (F = 93.84, p < 0.01; Fig. 2). Yellow-footed tortoise hunting increased during two seasons of the year; however, these periods varied according to the environment. In upland forests, tortoise hunting mainly occurred during the dry season between November and January. In whitewater flooded forests, hunting mainly occurred during the flood season between May and July. See bar graph attached to these atrocities.

The most frequently mentioned common names for the ‘ten most profitable wildlife species sold following slaughter’ [when considering only the top ranked responses (18 common names from 77 vendors)] were ‘lowland paca’ (Cuniculus paca) (44%, n = 34), followed by ‘yellow footed tortoise’ (Chelonoidis denticulatus) (10%, n =
, ‘collared peccary’ (Pecari tajacu) (9%, n = 7), and ‘common boa’ (Boa constrictor) (9%, n = 7) .
So sad !
I took my frustration and decided many years ago to dedicate my life to conservation of tortoises. Especially Yellowfoots. Turning my frustration and force of goodness and love

I also enclosed a pic of Ginger, Sunnyspot and Zohar.

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