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Leuteritz, T. E. J. , Cap sainte marie “at the end of the earth”: the radiated tortoise (geochelone radiata) in southwest madagascar. Paper presented at Turtle Survival Alliance 2006 Annual Meeting. 
Added by: Admin (13 Dec 2008 16:50:15 UTC)
Resource type: Proceedings Article
BibTeX citation key: Leuteritz2006
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Categories: General
Keywords: Astrochelys, Astrochelys radiata, Geochelone, Habitat = habitat, Madagaskar = Madagascar, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises, Testudinidae
Creators: Leuteritz
Collection: Turtle Survival Alliance 2006 Annual Meeting
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Testudinidae The radiated tortoise or sokatra (Geochelone radiata) is one of four tortoises endemic to Madagascar. The IUCN Red List classifies it as “Vulnerable”. The primary threats to the tortoise’s survival are collection for human consumption, the pet trade, and habitat loss. There are several published studies on the biology of captive radiated tortoises but only a few reports on field research of radiated tortoises. The objectives of this study were to examine the status and distribution of Geochelone radiata in southern Madagascar; to examine the extent of variation in tortoises occurring across the range; and to use this information to help improve conservation activities. The project was designed to examine these parameters in the field over a two-year period; specifically during the tortoises’ active/rainy season (November to April). Cap Sainte Marie (CSM), a special nature reserve in the extreme southern portion of the Province of Tulear, Madagascar, was chosen as the principal study site. Tortoises range from south of Tulear to CSM. East of CSM tortoise populations become severely fragmented. Line transect sampling was conducted across the species range to estimate tortoise density. Density estimates ranged from 27.5 to 5,744 tortoises / km2. The estimated mean population size of radiated tortoises in the core of the range is between 12 - 54 million. At CSM there were between 1,905 - 2,105 tortoises (actual marked individuals 1,438) based on Lincoln-Peterson mark-recapture. Based on mtDNA extracted from blood samples gathered across the range, tortoise populations do not appear to exhibit phylogeographic structure. Included is an update on the on the Madagascar Tortoise Population Viability Assessment (PVA) held in Ifaty (near Tulear) in August 2005.
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