Study

Conservation measures for a population of Hermann's tortoise Testudo hermanni in southern France bisected by a major highway

  • Published source details Guyot G. & Clobert J. (1997) Conservation measures for a population of Hermann's tortoise Testudo hermanni in southern France bisected by a major highway. Biological Conservation, 79, 251-256.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Temporarily move reptiles away from short-term threats

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Install barriers and crossing structures along roads/railways

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Temporarily move reptiles away from short-term threats

    A replicated study in 1989–1990 and 1993–1994 of roadside verges in Toulon, France (Guyot & Clobert 1997) found that almost a quarter of Hermann’s tortoises Testudo hermanni temporarily relocated during highway construction were recaptured 4–5 years after release. Four–five years after the completion of a highway, 70 of 284 (25%) temporarily relocated and released Hermann’s tortoises were recaptured. The first-year survival rate was estimated to be 51% and annual survival rate was estimated to be 78%. Most recaptured tortoises were discovered in the vicinity of their release location. While in temporary captivity, 16 of 300 tortoises died. In May 1989, a total of 300 tortoises were captured and held in an enclosure until the completion of a highway in October 1990. Tortoises were provided with supplementary food several times a week while in captivity. The new highway was fenced to limit tortoise access to the road and two culverts and a road underpass were constructed to facilitate tortoise movements. Visual searches for tortoises were carried out either side of the highway in April–October 1993–1994.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Install barriers and crossing structures along roads/railways

    A study in 1989–1994 of roadside verges in Toulon, France (Guyot & Clobert 1997) found that some Hermann's tortoise Testudo hermannii used culverts or a road tunnel with fencing to cross a highway. Seven (three females, four males) of 70 individually-marked Hermann’s tortoises used a road tunnel or culverts to cross a highway. A highway was constructed between May 1989 and October 1990 through Hermann's tortoise habitat. Sheep wire fencing was erected to prevent tortoises from crossing the road and one road tunnel and two culverts were constructed to allow tortoise movements between the two sides of the highway. Resident tortoises (300 individuals) were temporarily relocated during construction and individually marked prior to release. In April–October 1993–1994, observers carried out visual searches for tortoises next to the highway, recording recaptures (70 relocated tortoises were recaptured) and individually marking new individuals.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

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