Demography and conservation of an isolated Spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca population in Dobrogea (Romania)
Ecologia Balkanica 2013; 5(1) : 97-106
Spur-thighed tortoise is a vulnerable species. The local declines of populations led to an imperative need for conservation. Testudo graeca reaches its northern range limit in Dobrogea region, Romania. We studied a population from this region, which occupies an enclosed area of 32 ha within Histria Archaeological Complex. Based on a capture-mark-recapture study we estimated the population size of 221 ± 12.2 individuals. The observed density was 5.1 individuals/ha. The predicted population size suggests a relatively high density in relation to the area thus raising attention for a future conservation strategy. The population structure shows reduced sexual dimorphism and an unbiased sex ratio, implying a young population structure. We suggest correlating the future archaeological studies with conservation requirements of tortoises.
Palabras clave: Testudo graeca, estimating population size, density, Romania.