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The land tortoises testudo graeca and testudo hermanni in spain



The land tortoises testudo graeca and testudo hermanni in spain



Naturalia Hispanica (17): 1-63



The 2 spp. of land turtles in Spain are Testudo graeca L. and T. hermanii Gmelin. Interspecies differences are enumerated. The general distribution of these species is T. graeca: North Africa from Morocco to Egypt (T. graeca graeca Merteus) and in the eastern Balkans and southwest Asia (T. g. ibera Pall). Of T. hermanni there are 2 sspp., one in central Italy, Sardinia, Corsica, Baleares and possibly in the Iberian peninsula. The other is found in addition, in Yugoslavia. T. graeca exists in southwestern and southeastern Spain, while T. hermanni is confined to the Balearic islands. The soil, climate, vegetation, rainfall and temperature are discussed. Reproductive habits are reviewed, with description of egg laying, emergence of young, feeding habits and phenology. Under normal conditions few animals decisively influence the number of turtles, although wild pigs, the golden eagle and the badger are reported as natural enemies. In the Balearic islands the worst predators are rats and crows. Natural causes, but mainly human influences, have reduced the number of these turtles.

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