C7. Tortoise sanctuary

C7. Tortoise sanctuary

Expected results: A Tortoise Facility for rehabilitation, and captive breeding of land tortoises will be established and start operating.

Through treatment and release of rehabilitated and captive bred tortoises and showing all these efforts to the public it is believed that the conservation status of this long -living species will be improved in the area.

Between 20 and 50 tortoises will be rehabilitated yearly. After the second year of the project it is expected that about 20 to 50 tortoises to be captive bred and released into the wild in areas where natural populations need restocking.

Achieved results so far: 

 An area of about 2.5 hectares was fenced to serve as a tortoise sanctuary, but also to keep Fallow Deers and the 9 vultures’ aviaries, all under the Wildlife Center Rakitna. 7 spots of dry stone fence, a shelter for reptiles, are done

Since the beginning of the project 17 tortoises captured in the area prior to the fencing have been marked. The fence was established later in the season when the tortoises started their hibernation. The marking was provided to observe the seasonal movements of the tortoises in this particular area and to know their exact number.  34 tortoises have been marked outside the fenced area. 3 of them have been tracked by VHF in 2013 and 2014. A new marking method for tortoises has been initiated and tastedq using metal plate with inscription safely attached to the carapax.