|Date||29 Aug 2008|
Breeding biology of the European pond turtle in northernmost range area of the world wide turtle, in southern Belarus, is characterized by the annual formation of big nesting aggregations (to 300 specimens) in optimum terrestrial habitats, purposeful seasonal migrations and nesting site fidelity of females. These reproductive congregations very similar to seasonal assemblies of large sea turtles (termed by arribada) are unique among fresh-water species in temperate zone. Until recently this phenomenon was not studied. There are no special protective actions for conservation of collective habitats.
The European pond turtle is only turtle species in many areas of Europe. It is rare threatened species included in Red Book of IUCN (LR:nt category) and a list of rare animals of all European countries. We determine that protection of the breeding habitats and the numerous nesting aggregations is most effective conservation measure for this species in Belarus. Pursuance of the project will provide:
(2) to identify the significant threats and number limiting factors in the wild and semi natural boreal forest landscapes;
(3) to continue elaboration of a network of small reserves in areas of the largest female congestions and to provide their reliable protection;
(4) to develop and test new more effective approaches to protection of seasonal nesting assemblies of this freshwater turtle;
(5) to save one of the most viable European populations of nominative subspecies;
(6) to draw attention of the non-governmental and state nature conservation organizations and local societies to rescue of this rare species and unique arribada;
(7) to train several groups of local people to be able to continue the preservation and monitoring of the aggregations in critical periods of egg-laying and migrations.
Read about his previous RSG project http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/sergey_drobenkov or for more information contact:
Breeding habitat of the European pond turtle in the south part of Belarus in the Polesye Region.
The European pond turtle which is present in Belarus.
Hatchling pond turtles after leaving the nests in breeding habitat in August.