Home Range of the Spur-Thighed Tortoise, Testudo graeca (Testudines, Testudinidae), in the National Park of El Kala, Algeria

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Spur-thighed tortoise is a vulnerable species, the local declines of populations require an imperative need for conservation. Research on habitat use is essential for understanding population ecology. To investigate the home range and movement patterns we studied a population which occupies an enclosed area of 30 ha in northeastern Algeria. Studies of movement showed that home ranges were substantially smaller than in Spain. This difference was due to the high trophic availability with significant richness in plants which make part of the diet of the tortoise. The home range varied from 0.287 ha in males to 0.354 ha for females; there was no sexual difference. The males are the most active with a distance of 3.79 m/d. Females and juveniles are respectively about 2.25 m/d and 2.11 m/d. The distance moved each day do not vary significantly by sex and ages. Results from this study are important for establishing conservation strategies for this vulnerable species.

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Vestnik Zoologii

The Journal of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Schmalhauzen Institute of Zoology

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