Study

Rapid response of a long-lived species to improved water and grazing management: the case of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) in the Camargue, France

  • Published source details Ficheux S., Olivier A., Fay R., Crivelli A., Besnard A. & Bechet A. (2014) Rapid response of a long-lived species to improved water and grazing management: the case of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) in the Camargue, France. Journal for Nature Conservation, 22, 342-348.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify grazing regime: Wetland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Regulate water levels

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Modify grazing regime: Wetland

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 1997–2013 in two marshes with canals in Camargue, France (Ficheux et al. 2014) found that autumn–winter grazing and autumn–spring flooding increased European pond turtle Emys orbicularis abundance compared to high density spring–summer grazing and winter–spring marsh flooding. European pond turtle abundance was greater with moderate density autumn–winter grazing and autumn–spring marsh flooding (192–436 individuals), compared to high density spring–summer grazing and winter–spring marsh flooding (107–182 individuals) or low year-round grazing and flooding (182–227 individuals). In a nearby site with moderate year-round grazing and flooding, European pond turtle abundance was stable over the same time period (29–153 individuals). Incidences of trampling by grazing animals were higher with moderate-density autumn–winter grazing (10 individuals) or low-density year-round grazing (13 individuals) compared to high-density spring–summer grazing (4 individuals; results were not statistically tested). In 1997–2001, two sites (100–250 ha, 1.5 km apart) were flooded and grazed year-round at low-moderate stocking density. In one site, in 2002–2006, water levels were modified to create a dry period in summer–autumn, with natural flooding in winter–spring and grazing was changed to high density stocking in spring–summer (see original paper for details). In the same site, in 2007–2013, the flooding period was extended so that autumn–spring were flooded and only summer was dry, and moderate density grazing took place in autumn–winter. In April–August 1997–2013, turtles were live-trapped at both sites (7,059 total captures of 963 individuals).

  2. Regulate water levels

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 1997–2013 in two marshes with canals in Camargue, France (Ficheux et al. 2014) found that autumn–spring flooding along with autumn–winter grazing increased European pond turtle Emys orbicularis abundance. European pond turtle abundance was greater with autumn–spring marsh flooding and moderate-stocking density autumn–winter grazing (192–436 individuals), compared to winter–spring marsh flooding and high-stocking density spring–summer grazing (107–182 individuals) or year-round flooding and low-stocking density grazing (182–227 individuals). In a nearby site with moderate year-round flooding and grazing, European pond turtle abundance was stable over the same time period (29–153 individuals, data taken from graphs). Turtles were live-trapped in April–August 1997–2013 (7,059 total captures of 963 individuals) in two sites (100–250 ha, 1.5 km apart). In 1997–2001, both sites were flooded and grazed year-round at low-moderate stocking density. In one site, in 2002–2006, water levels were modified to create a dry period in summer–autumn, with natural flooding in winter–spring and grazing was changed to high density stocking in spring–summer (see original paper for details). In the same site, in 2007–2013, the flooding period was extended so that autumn–spring were flooded and only summer was dry, and moderate density grazing took place in autumn–winter.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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