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Golubovíc, A. , Habitat configuration and vegetation cover shapes locomotor abilities in tortoises implications for conservation management. Unpublished paper presented at Atelier international sur la gestion et la restauration des populations et habitats de la Tortue d’Hermann / International workshop on the management and restoration of Hermann’s tortoise populations and habitats. 
Added by: Admin (06 Jan 2014 18:24:29 UTC)
Resource type: Conference Paper
BibTeX citation key: anon2013.15145
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Categories: General
Keywords: Habitat - habitat, Physiologie - physiology, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises, Südosteuropa - South-Eastern Europe, Testudinidae, Testudo hermanni, Verhalten - ethology
Creators: Golubovíc
Collection: Atelier international sur la gestion et la restauration des populations et habitats de la Tortue d’Hermann / International workshop on the management and restoration of Hermann’s tortoise populations and habitats
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Abstract     
Testudo hermanni Testudinidae Agility of Hermann's tortoises plays a major role in their movement efficiency, concerning both their ability to overcome obstacles and the time needed for movements through the habitat. We analyzed intra- and inter-population differences in agility using three experiments which mirrored natural obstacles in the tortoises’ natural environment: righting when overturned on their back, leaping from the steep steps (50 cm high) and releasing from “vegetation” stuck on the protuberant parts of the shell. All three tests showed high correlation between measured behavioral traits and habitat, while gender and body size correlated with agility only in some tests. These results suggest that habitat characteristics, like topography and vegetation cover, have an important effect on shaping the analyzed behavioral performances. Such findings could have conservational value, especially in raising efficiency of translocation efforts. We propose that new habitat should mirror the habitat where tortoises originated from. Additionally, temporary enclosures for tortoises should be constructed in a way that mimics the future habitats, thus enabling tortoises to learn how to cope with obstacles (e.g. positive and negative obstacles, dense vegetation) of new environment under controlled conditions
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