Author Topic: Tortoises  (Read 4241 times)

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Offline SueMac

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Tortoises
« on: March 27, 2007, 10:49 AM »
Hi

 I put "tortoises" in the search engine and came up with zero. Dont they feature in Iberianature?
SueMac.
 
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Tortoises
« on: March 27, 2007, 10:49 AM »

Offline Clive

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 11:34 AM »
Hola,

SueMac, This site is pretty in depth and has a lot of information about Spanish tortoises.

http://nytts.org/proceedings/mascort.htm

I haven't read it properly yet but it looks very good indeed.

Clive
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Offline SueMac

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 19:05 PM »
Thanks Cliive

There is a lot of information about tortoises and land turtles (Dont know why Americans call them turtles!) in terms of the whole of the world.  The abstract on Spain is very informative with a superb picture but is indicating a declining population is Spain because of collecting (Is that a euphemism for theft since they are a protected species?) He does not mention the area around here as having a stable population  - that term would need to be more specific)  However as I am now a little better informed I shall be able to identify type next time I see one.
I looked down to find one sitting on my foot when I stopped during a walk through some Virginia woodlands, I even managed to get my camera to him. This  area now heavily built upon by expensive homes.
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Offline Clive

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 23:54 PM »
Hola,

It is actually quite hard to find any up to date information about Spanish tortoises.

I have this BBC link from the fires in 2004

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3549230.stm

I also found a couple of vague sites that mentioned up to 90 percent of tortoise eggs are eaten by foxes, beech martens and mongoose.

Clive
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Offline Clive

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 01:33 AM »
Hola,

The  Centro para la Recuperación de la Tortuga mora y otros Reptiles have a reintroduction programme for tortoises and other reptiles.

http://www.asociacionanse.org/testudo/centro_reptiles.htm

They have a reserve area in Cartagena by the looks of it.

Clive
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Offline SueMac

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 12:48 PM »
Hi Clive
That does look a very interesting article or association rather.....a quick scan does put this area in as a hotspot for tortuga mora.....
SueMac
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Offline SueMac

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2007, 19:54 PM »
Yessss!!

As this little piggie went to market.............. this little piggie  met a small tortuga mora!!!!
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Offline Clive

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2007, 22:39 PM »
Hola,

Come on SueMac you can't get away with it that easily. Thinking a mere image would suffice indeed.....Lets have the complete history please. Like where did you find it?...What was it eating?..Were there others around?..What is the vegetation like? etc? etc? etc?

Please?

Clive
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Offline SueMac

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 08:45 AM »
I was really excited Clive. It was truly crossing the camino running through  the rambla. Six inches long. The photo is a good colour rendition. He decide to  get into the shade and tuck his head away from the monster(me). Attached is another photo of the side of the camino. I also took a seven sec burst of video. It is actually a very primiitive landscape sandy, stony.  Many minerals in the exposed rocks.
It has been coolish and wet down here so the large dose of sun had obviously decided this one to get on ;the move.  There is a lot of grey shale  mediterranean pines caneca  wild flowers romero olives pomegranites almonds in the valley.  A neighbour of mine had seen some in February on the shale  in her camino about a miile away from where I live. It got unnaturally hot in February  and then we had much rain so they disappeared again.

You sent an excellent reference on Spanish tortoises which put this as an area for tortuga mora.  Now I am guessing here - when they say mora do they mean mulberry? I have mora/mulberry trees.
Theft is a big issue I understand.  They are worth a lot of money in UK and I was told they are stolen by druggies to raise money for supplies. (I was an ex socialworker at the sharp end)
Anyway roll on my next siting.
What else do you need me to find out?
SueMac
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Offline nick

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 11:01 AM »
Hi Sue,

I'd be excited too!

It means Moorish - it's a common species in North Africa

My reptile book notes the presence of two small populations, one in your area and the other in Doñana. The evidence points to this species being introduced by man in ancient times like the genet and probably chameleon, and like the latter probably as pets.


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Offline nick

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2007, 11:08 AM »
Missed Clive's link there. In English its a Spur-Thighed Tortoise

Here's a map of its distribution. Note also small Majorcan population. This site on your tortoise (part of best zoological site in Spain) is superb. Follow sublinks on lefthand menu
http://www.vertebradosibericos.org/reptiles/tesgra.html

Or download the lot as a pdf http://www.vertebradosibericos.org/reptiles/pdf/tesgra.pdf and become an expert in sprur-thighs!

See also
Spain fires claim rare tortoises
 Mediterranean forests are one of the spur-thigh tortoise's natural habitats
Thousands of rare tortoises have died in forest fires that have raged across south-eastern Spain, fanned by high temperatures and warm winds.   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3549230.stm

« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 11:20 AM by nick »
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Offline Technopat

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2007, 14:10 PM »
Greetings SueMac and All,
Truly running through the rambla?

Given the gloomy forecast for forest fires here on the Ib. Pen. over the coming years* - at least till there's not much left to burn except scrub - it looks like tortuga mora's days are numbered, so I'd take Nick's advice and become an expert on the subject.
Can just see the headlines: iberianature forum expropriates yet another gold course in Andalusia and converts it into a tortoise sanctuary.

Advantage of filming tortoises is that you get plenty of time to go back 'ome, rummage 'round for the camera, take out the old roll of film, look for a new one, (yes, some of us still use cameras from the last century) stroll calmly back to where you left the t. and get it from any angle before it heads off into the distance at a rate of ... (if it were a turtle, knots).

*Which, along with gold courses, etc. all help to speed up the "natural" process of desertification
Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
Unlike using bait to get snapshots of badgers, which is a no-no, I'm sure no-one will object to you using the odd lettuce leaf to make your t. stick her/his/its 'ead out of the shell and give us all a close-up of its gnashers!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 14:12 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline SueMac

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 15:02 PM »
It would be interesting to find out more about the numbers here.  I think it is probably pretty high.  The greatest risk our tortoise has is not fire but motorbikes as the rambla is host to the World Extremadura Maxxix 2007 Championship this week.

ps I found a skeleton of a dog or fox which I have used "artistically" and is up on my portfolio at
www.london-photographic-awards.com  Any guesses which
SueMac
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Offline nick

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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 16:15 PM »
The web I mentioned before notes:

-12 individuos/Ha in the Sierra de Almenara.

So within your area, yes rather common, but as it's such a small area, the article goes on to say it cannot be considered as common

AC Andreu is your man:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Andreu+A.C.+tortoise&btnG=Google+Search
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Re: Tortoises
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 16:15 PM »