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

Open access

Abstract

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.

References

  • Andreu, A. C. 1987. Ecología y dinámica poblacional de la tortuga mora, Testudo graeca, en Doñana. Tesis Doctoral. Univ. Sevilla.

  • Bailey, J. R., Highfield, A. C. 1996. Observations on ecological changes threatening a population of Testudo graeca graeca in the Souss Valley, southern Morocco. Chel. Cons. Biol., 2, 36-42.

  • Ben kaddour, K., El Mouden, E. H., Slimani, T., Lagarde, F., Bonnet, X. 2005. Dimorphisme sexuel et cinétique de croissance et de maturation chez Testudo g. graeca, dans les Jbilets Centrales, Maroc. Rev. Ecol., 60: 265-278.

  • Braza, F., Delibes, M., Castroviejo, J. 1981. Estudio biométrico y biolуgico de la tortuga mora (Testudo graeca) en la Reserva Biolуgica de Doсana, Huelva. Doсana. Acta. Vertebr., 8, 15-41.

  • Bury, R. B., Luckenbach, R. A. 1977. Censusing desert tortoise populations using a quadrat and grid location system. Proc. Symp., Th e Desert Tortoise Council, 169-178.

  • Castanet, J., Cheylan, M. 1979. Les marques de croissance des os et des écailles comme indicateur de l´âge chez Testudo hermanni et Testudo graeca (Reptilia, Chelonia, Testudinidae). Can. J. Zool., 57, 1649-1655.

  • De Belair, G. 1990. Structure, fonctionnement et perspectives de gestion de quatre complexes lacustres et marécageux (El Kala, Est algérien). Th èse de Doctorat, Université du languedoc, 1-193.

  • Díaz-Paniagua, C., Keller, C., Andreu, A. C. 1995. Annual variation of activity and daily distances moved in adult Spur-thighed tortoises, Testudo graeca, in southwestern Spain. Herpetologica., 51, 225-233.

  • El Mouden, E., Slimani, T., Ben Kaddour, K. 2001. Croissance et dimorphisme sexuel chez la tortue mauresdque (Testudo graeca graeca L., 1758). Proceeding of the international congress on Testudo Genus. Chelonii, 325-330.

  • Ernst, C. H., Barbour, R. W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1-313.

  • Eubanks, J., Ott, M., William, K., Guyer, C. 2003. Patterns of movement and burrow use in a population of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). Herpetologica., 59,311-321.

  • Fritz, U., Havas, P. 2007. Checklist of chelonians of the world. Vertebrate Zoology (Dresden), 57 (2), 149-368.

  • Germano, D. J., Bury, R. B. 1998. Age determination in turtles: Evidence of annual deposition of scute rings. Chel. Cons. Biol., 3, 123-132.

  • Giménez, A., Esteve, M. A., Pérez, I., Anadón, J. D., Martínez, M., Martínez, J., Palazón, J. A. 2004. La tortuga mora en la Region de Murcia. Conservación de una especie amenazada. DM Ed. Murcia.

  • Greenberg, C. H. 2001. Response of reptile and amphibian communities to canopy gaps created by wind disturbance in the southern Appalachians. For. Ecol. Manage., 148, 135-144.

  • Kernohan, B. J., Gitzen, R. A. et Millspaugh, J. J. 2001. Analysis of animal space use and movements in Radio tracking and animal populations. Academic Press, San Diego, 125-166.

  • Lagarde, F., Guillon, M., Dubroca, L., Bonnet, X., Ben Kaddour, K., Slimani, T. 2008. Slowness and acceleration: a new method to quantify the activity budget of chelonians. Anim Behav., 75, 319-329.

  • Lagarde, F., Louzizi, T., Slimani, T., El Mouden, H., Ben Kaddour, K., Moulherat, S., Bonnet, X. 2012. Bushes protect tortoises from lethal overheating in arid areas of Morocco. Environ Conserv., 39, 172-182.

  • Luiselli, L. 2003. Comparative abundance and population structure of sympatric Afrotropical tortoises in six rainforest areas: the diff erential eff ects of “traditional veneration˝ and of “subsistence hunting˝ by local people. Acta Oecol., 24, 157-163.

  • Mazzotti, S., Pisapia, A., Fasola, M. 2002. Activity and home range of Testudo hermanni in Northern Italy. Amphibia-Reptilia, 23, 305-312.

  • McRae, W. A., Landers, J.L., Garner, J. A. 1981. Movement patterns and home range of the Gopher Tortoise. American Midland Naturalist, 106, 165-179.

  • Mitchell, B. R. 2011. Comparison of programs for fi xed kernel home range analysis, 5.4. Available from: http://www.uvm.edu/~bmitchel/Publications/HR_Compare.pdf

  • Pringle, R. M., Webb, J. K., Shine, R. 2003. Canopy structure, microclimate, and habitat selection by a nocturnal snake, Hoplocephalus bungaroides. Ecology, 84, 2668-2679

  • Rouag, R., Benyacoub, S., Luiselli, L., El Mouden, E. H., Tiar, G., Ferrah, C. H. 2007. Population structure and demography of an Algerian population of the Moorish tortoise, Testudo graeca. Anim. Biol., 57, 267-279.

  • Rouag, R., Ferrah, C., Luiselli, L., Tiar, G., Benyacoub, S., Ziane, N., El Mouden, E. H. 2008. Food choice of an Algerian population of the spur-thighed tortoise, Testudo graeca. African Journal of Herpetology, 57, 103-113.

  • Rouag, R. 2015. Approche fonctionnelle de l´écologie de deux espèces de Reptiles Lacertidés insectivores (Psammodromus algirus et Acanthodactylus erythrurus) et d´un reptile chélonien phytophage (Testudo graca graeca), dans un maquis dunaire du parc national d´El-Kala (Wilaya d´El-Tarf). Th èse de Doctorat, Université Chadli Bendjedid, El Tarf, 165 p + annexes.

  • Saint Girons, H. 1965. Les critères d´âge chez les reptiles et leurs applications à l´étude de la structure des populations sauvages. Rev. Ecol., 4, 342-357.

  • Seltzer, P. 1946. Le climat de l´Algérie. Impr. «La Typo-litho» & J. Carbonel, 1-219.

  • Slimani, T., El Mouden, E. H., Ben Kaddour, K. 2002. Structure et dynamique de population de Testudo graeca L., 1758 dans les Jbilets Centrales, Maroc. Chelonii, 3, 200-207.

  • Stubbs, D., Swingland, I. R. 1984. Th e ecology of the Mediterranean tortoise (Testudo hermanni): a declining population. Can. J. Zool., 63,169-180.

  • Turner, F. B., Lannom, J. R., Medica, P. A., and Hoddenbach, G. A. 1969. Density and composition of fenced populations of leopard lizards (Crotaphytus wislizenii) in southern Nevada. Herpetologica, 25, 247-257.

  • Van Der Kuyl, A. C., Ballasina, D. L., Dekker, J. T., Maas, J., Willemsen, R. E., Goudsmit J. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships among the species of the genus Testudo (Testudines: Testudinidae) inferred from mitochondrial 12D rRNA gene sequences. Mol. Phyl. Evol., 22, 174-183.

  • Vickers, M., Manicom, C., Schwarzkopf, L. 2011. Extending of the cost-benefi t model of thermoregulation: high temperature environments. Th e American Naturalist, 177, 452-461.

  • Webb, J. K., Shine, R. 1998. Using thermal ecology to predict retreat-site selection by an endangered snake species. Biol. Conserv., 86, 233-242.

  • White, G. C. and Garrott, R. A. 1990. Analysis of Wildlife Radio-Tracking Data. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1-383.

Vestnik Zoologii

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

Journal Information


Cite Score 2016: 0.35

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.300
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.496

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 13 13 13
PDF Downloads 5 5 5