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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 12:11-15 (2010)  -  DOI:

Retention rate of hard-released translocated Egyptian tortoises Testudo kleinmanni

Omar Attum1,3,*, Wissam E. Farag2, Sherif M. Baha El Din2, Bruce Kingsbury1

1Center for Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and Management, Indiana–Purdue University Fort Wayne,
2101 E Coliseum Boulevard, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805, USA
2Omayed Protectorate, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, Cairo-Helwan Agricultural Road, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
3Department of Biology, Indiana University Southeast, 4201 Grant Line Road, New Albany, Indiana 47150, USA

ABSTRACT: We examined the suitability of using translocations as a method to create a new population of Egyptian tortoises Testudo kleinmanni in an area where the species historically occurred. We released 109 tortoises, comprising 57 males, 48 females and 4 juveniles. Dispersal from the release site influenced survival and retention rate, i.e. the proportion of individual tortoises found after the original release. The number of times a tortoise was recaptured decreased as the minimum distance at which it was found from the release site increased. In addition, live tortoises were significantly more likely to be found at shorter minimum distances from the release site than were dead tortoises. The sex ratio of pre-released tortoises tended to be different from the sex ratio of tortoises found during later surveys, with females proportionally more likely to be found than males. Pre-release mass was not a significant predictor of an individual tortoise being recaptured. Retention rates of future reintroductions may be improved by allowing tortoises to acclimatize and develop fidelity to the release site before they are translocated.

KEY WORDS: Chelonian conservation · Egypt · Reintroduction · Release site fidelity · Repatriation · Retention rate · Translocation · Testudo kleinmanni

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Cite this article as: Attum O, Farag WE, Baha El Din SM, Kingsbury B (2010) Retention rate of hard-released translocated Egyptian tortoises Testudo kleinmanni. Endang Species Res 12:11-15.

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