Tracking down tortoises in Turre and Huercal-Overa

CONSERVATION PROJECT: Serbal Almeria volunteers prepare to search for tortoises in Turre and Huercal-Overa Photo credit: Serbal Almeria

ENVIRONMENTALIST association Serbal Almeria are carrying out a census of Turre and Huercal-Overa’s Greek tortoise population.

The group has been collaborating since 2015 with the Testudo programme, a long-term monitoring project which is coordinated by Miguel Hernandez University based in Elche (Alicante) and co-financed by the university and the Fundacion Biodiversidad.

In Spain, the tortoises which are typical of the western Mediterranean, are largely found between Almeria and Murcia where their preferred habitat of scrub alternating with traditional, non-irrigated agricultural land is fast-disappearing.

The Testudo programme intends to identify the principal threats to Almeria’s tortoises and establish a conservation plan that can ensure their survival.

Meanwhile Serbal volunteers are locating, weighing and measuring tortoises in both locations, while tagging those not monitored on previous occasions.  They then photograph them and take blood samples before returning them to where they were found.

“Although temperatures are currently lower than on previous occasions, the tortoises are already active,” a Serbal spokesperson said.  “So far we have found 12 tortoises in Turre and 14 in Huercal-Overa.”

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]