River turtles in Bolivia - level 3
More than 100,000 of these baby turtles have been released into a river near the Bolivian Amazon. Bolivia's President, Evo Morales, along with Alexandra Moreira, Bolivian Minister for the Environment and Water, attended the releasing ceremony.
The goal is to repopulate the area with the small turtles. These can eventually measure up to 3.2 feet (1 metre), weigh up to 154 pounds (70 kilograms) and live for up to 100 years.
The repopulation plan dates from 2007 and has the support of Brazil. According to Moreira since they started, 10 million baby turtles have been released back into the wild near the border with Brazil.
River turtles inhabiting the rivers of the Bolivian Amazon are endangered due to the high demand for their meat and eggs which are high in protein.
Morales praised conservation work being carried out for the turtles, pointing out how more than ever there are new generations joining political projects that allow us to take care of Mother Earth. The president of the ecological association in the area, Jose Suarez from Brazil, said conservation work was important for the biodiversity in the region. He pointed out that turtles have no nationality. They belong to nature and it is imperative, therefore, that projects like this are undertaken.
The turtles live in the rivers of the Departments of La Paz, Pando, and Santa Cruz. They play an important role in the ecosystem there, as they help to save flooded forests by digesting food which can clean the rivers.
Difficult words: the support of Brazil (the people in Brazil want this plan to happen), inhabit (to live somewhere), endangered (at risk of dying out), due to (because of), praise (to say good things about), ecological (studying plants and animals), biodiversity (the different living things in a place), imperative (very important), therefore (for that reason), digest (to eat).
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