Norris, D., & Michalski, F. (2013). Socio-economic and spatial determinants of anthropogenic predation on Yellow-spotted River Turtle, Podocnemis unifilis (Testudines: Pelomedusidae), nests in the Brazilian Amazon: Implications for sustainable conservation and management. Zoologia, 30(5), 482–490.
Human expansion has drastically affected wildlife species across Amazonian waterways and the continued increase in rural populations across Amazonia is likely to increase pressure on widely exploited chelonian species. The lack of information evaluating determinants of human consumption patterns limits the effective implementation of conservation strategies. Our objective was to determine the relative importance of social, economic, and spatial variables on human exploitation of Podocnemis unifilis Troschel, 1848 around a sustainable-use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We conducted interviews with 51 riverine residents to evaluate attitudes towards and exploitation of P. unifilis. We used multimodel inference to evaluate 12 working hypothesis predicting social, economic, and spatial influences on the occurrence and intensity of P. unifilis egg consumption. None of the respondents reported catching and/or eating adult P. unifilis and none sold adults or eggs during the previous year. Although the majority (58.8%) of respondents had eaten P. unifilis eggs during the previous year and the species was occasionally caught in fishing nets, P. unifilis was rarely cited as a liked or disliked species. Our information theoretic analysis showed that spatial hypotheses were the most strongly supported whereas social and economic hypotheses were only weakly supported in explaining if and how many P. unifilis eggs had been consumed by riverine residents during the previous year. Our findings suggest that current Amazonian development patterns may be associated with reduced consumption of adult P. unifilis, but consumption of eggs together with other indirect anthropogenic perturbations continue to threaten remaining P. unifilis populations. © 2013 Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia All rights reserved.