|Date||1 Sep 2006|
The tortoise population is declining in Romania due to the habitats degradation, killings caused by the people, cropping for pets etc. The mortality is amplified by the species' biology. The project aim is to improve the institutional level of protection and to raise population awareness on Testudo hermanni boettgeri importance.
The conservation activities shall be performed through: obtaining information on the patterns of territory usage by tortoises in order to estimate the habitats isolation degree; completing the tortoises distribution pattern in Romania by including bioclimatic parameters; recommendations on the establishment of a new protected areas network in South-western Romania for tortoises protection; the development of a raising awareness campaign in the vulnerability areas. For determining the territory usage, 7 tortoises will be monitored by glue on radiotransmitters and iButtons thermometers.
The results will be data about the home range, distances covered, barriers, interaction with other species, thermoregulation. Following the determination of habitats suitability and fragmentation degree, in cooperation with Iron Gates Park Administration, the areas requiring special protection shall be delimited. Proposals shall be submitted to the Iron Gates Natural Park Scientific Council and subsequently published in order to get them into specialist's consideration.
In addition, an educational campaign shall be performed for the farmers and the tourists, mainly in the Iron Gates Natural Park are.
The campaign will include: meetings with the farmers from Eselnita, Dubova, Ilovita, Svinita, Gura-Vaii and Divici-Pojejena, improved web page (www.portiledefier.ro/carapax), A2 poster entitled Hermann's tortoise – a protected species that will be displayed in town halls and schools, media articles, photo exhibition.
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