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Znari, M., Naimi, M., Aitbaamrane, M. A., Hajjy, M. E., Namous, S., & Hichami, N. , Conservation and restoration potentials of the souss valley tortoise, testudo graeca soussensis pieh, 2001 (testudines: Testudinidae) in an arid area of west central moroccos. Unpublished paper presented at World Congress of Herpetology. 
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich (06 Jul 2014 16:17:32 UTC)
Resource type: Conference Paper
BibTeX citation key: Znari2012b
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Categories: General
Keywords: Chelidae, Chelodina rugosa, Habitat - habitat, Nordafrika - Northern Africa, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises
Creators: Aitbaamrane, Hajjy, Hichami, Naimi, Namous, Znari
Collection: World Congress of Herpetology
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Testudinidae The Moorish tortoise, Testudo graeca L., 1758, is the unique tortoise in Morocco. It includes three subspecies two of which are endemic to the country: T. g. marokkensis and T. g. soussensis. It is also among the Morocco‘s most threatened reptile species as a result of destruction and loss of its natural habitat, overgrazing, illegal harvest for pet trade and climate change. These threats are more serious in the case of T. g. soussensis in arid areas of west central Morocco where the chronic drought of the last ten years, accelerated the population decline as a consequence of a reduced food availability and water stress. To address this issue, and in order to conserve et restore the tortoise populations and their natural habitat in arid and overgrazed ares in the central Jbilet mountains, a study of the conservation and restoration potentials has been carried out. This comprises an experimental captive breeding essay including a survey of reproduction, natural and artificial incubations of eggs and rearing of young tortoises born in captivity. The maintenance conditions (housing, feeding, care, etc.) are described. Newly hatched tortoises, collected in the natural habitat, are also hand reared in the framework of a Head Starting operation, and will be, as the captive-born tortoises, released in the wild at un age of 5-6 years for the reinforcement of remnant populations or rehabilitation of the habitats where the species disappeared. Furthermore, actions of habitat restoration or rehabilitation are proposed and consist, according to the level of environment deterioration, of an improved resource management or the reintroduction of the jujube shrub and tortoises which depend on. Finally, the creation of a tortoise sanctuary in the central Jbilet is proposed and its design described. The conservation and restoration potentials of T. g. soussensis and its habitat in arid areas of west central Morocco, revealed great opportunities of measures and actions to be carried out in favor of the safeguard of one of the most remarquable and threatened species of Morocco.
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich  
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