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Lewis, R. E., Pedrono, M., Bekarany, E., Lopez, J. A., & Durbin, J. , The reintroduction of geochelone yniphora. 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: Lewis2006
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Categories: General
Keywords: Astrochelys, Astrochelys yniphora, Geochelone, Habitat = habitat, Madagaskar = Madagascar, Schildkröten = turtles + tortoises, Testudinidae
Creators: Bekarany, Durbin, Lewis, Lopez, Pedrono
Collection: Turtle Survival Alliance 2006 Annual Meeting
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Testudinidae In 1986 the Malagasy government invited Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to Madagascar to develop the conservation programme for the endangered plowshare tortoise (Geochelone yniphora). In collaboration with the government’s Water and Forest Department, research was undertaken in the wild to ensure the survival of the remaining populations, and a captive-breeding project was established using confiscated tortoises. The goal of the captive-breeding project was to establish a self-sufficient population that could act as a source for establishing new populations and as a ‘safety net’ should wild populations become extinct. To date the project has bred over 200 animals. In 1998 a trial release of 5 juveniles into an area where the animals had been extirpated (due to fires) showed that captive-bred animals could adapt to the wild. In 2006, 20 juvenile tortoises were released back into the wild. All have adapted to their new environment. The release is a 4 year programme aiming to create a new wild population. A total of 80 tortoises will be released. Modelling indicates that if the founder population is at least 50 animals, and if mortality is minimal then the probability of extinction is less than 1% over the next 50 years. The main threat to the tortoises is from bush fires and illegal collection. Working with the local communities, the government services and the National Park’s authority, we have and are developing a participatory monitoring programme whereby all stakeholders are actively involved in developing and implementing the project.
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