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Moulherat, S., Delmas, V., Mouden, E. H. E., Louzizi, T., Lagarde, F., & Bonnet, X. (2014). How far can a tortoise walk in open habitat before overheating? implications for conservation. Journal for Nature Conservation, 22, 186–192. 
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich (06 Jul 2014 16:17:10 UTC)
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Moulherat2014
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Categories: General
Keywords: Habitat - habitat, Indotestudo elongata, Nordafrika - Northern Africa, Physiologie - physiology, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises, Testudinidae, Verhalten - ethology
Creators: Bonnet, Delmas, Lagarde, Louzizi, Mouden, Moulherat
Collection: Journal for Nature Conservation
Views: 7/407
Views index: 27%
Popularity index: 6.75%
Testudinidae Terrestrial chelonians are threatened worldwide by habitat destruction and illegal harvesting. Tortoises are slow moving animals susceptible to dehydration and overheating during movements in open habitats. Many species inhabit arid steppes where the availability of thermally buffered refuges (e.g. burrows) is a limiting factor. Determining the maximal distance between refuges that individuals can safely traverse during the active season is thus essential. We examined the relationship between body temperature variations and movement patterns in adult Testudo graeca in the arid steppes of Morocco. Using physical and mathematical models, our results suggest that during the active season adults cannot travel more than 1 km without serious risk of overheating. However, radio-tracking suggests that free-ranging individuals are behaviourally limited to 0.5 km trips between refuges. Overall, maintaining a distance less than 0.5 km between refuges (e.g. through bush planting) is essential to limit fragmentation and to retain healthy populations. This restoration would also benefit to many other species that depend on bush-refuges.
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich  
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