Over the weekend, 17,000 baby turtles were released, the first in the series of three releases in a protected area in northeastern Peru's Amazon River Basin.

According to www.stuff.co.nz, the government have released a huge number of endangered baby Taricaya turtles, in a bid to save the species.

The release is also a part of a conservation and educational effort by Peruvian authorities.

The yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles -- known by their local name, Taricaya -- are protected by Peruvian authorities and are considered a vulnerable species.

The yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle can also live up to 70 years, according to the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Adult females can even weigh more than 6 pounds and measure 27 inches long.

Many local residents came out to watch and help release the turtles back into their natural habitat.

Edition.cnn.com says that authorities hope the program will help conserve the vulnerable species for many years to come. Volunteers and employees from Peru's National Service of Protected Natural Areas by the State (SERNANP) collected the turtle eggs throughout the month of August and cared for them in makeshift habitats during the 70 days they take to hatch. Once they hatch, they get released back into the basins.

Preserving the eggs and letting them hatch under the care of the local authorities helps a lot in making sure that the eggs would get to give life to thousands of baby turtles. Incidents had happened I the past wherein turtle eggs along their natural habitats would end up destructed even before it had hatched.

Sending these newly born baby turtles into their natural habitat would definitely a great help in making sure that their species would continue to increase in number. Local authorities should also take into constant monitoring the place where these babies are released, and make sure that the place is still clean and safe enough for these vulnerable species.

A total of 500,000 baby turtles will be released by mid-November, authorities say.

Authorities and volunteers started releasing the baby turtles on October 15 and will continue until November 15.