On June 22 half a hundred of Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni hermanni) will be released in Les Garrigues which will be supporting to the project of reintroduction of Hermann’s tortoise in Montsant Natural Park .
This chelonian has become the tortoise species with one of the smallest ranges in Western Europe. Catalonia (Northeast Spain) is the only territory in the Iberian Peninsula with natural populations of the species.
The current range of the species in Catalonia includes basically four areas. The first one harbours the only natural population of the chelonian and is located at the Massís de I’Albera (Albera’s Massif), in the Alt Empordà regional district. The other three areas are the Parc Natural de Garraf, the Parc Natural del Delta de l’Ebre and the Parc Natural de la Serra de Montsant, where since 1992, 1987 and 2005, respectively, the species is being introduced.
The action has as main objective the creation of a new nucleus of population in Les Garrigues, which will be supporting to the project of reintroduction of Hermann’s tortoise in Montsant Natural Park and the conservation of the species in Catalonia.
The municipalities of Bellaguarda, La Granadella and Bovera are a representative area of mediterranean ecosystem and it´s a dispersion area of the releases that have been done at the Montsant Natural Park. There are 7,6 km between this area and the bounderies of the Natural Park and in the last two years 3 Hermann’s tortoises have been found, coming from the releases that have been done at the Park.
Another important aspect is that in these estates, managed by TRENCA association, which have got an extension of 30 ha, a sustainable agri-environmental development project is carried out, this allowing a continuous surveillance and control.
From 2015 to 2016, managed by TRENCA Association, there have been carried out the tasks of habitat improvement and the restructuration of selective fences for the Hermann’s tortoise. The distance between the wooden poles of these fences would allow to have adult tortoises that could not go out of the refuge area, as well as juveniles and very young tortoises that could freely get out and in, spreading to other areas.
These released tortoises will be marked and photographed to control the evolution and development of the project. The 60% of them will be females and the other 40% males, to guarantee the biological continuation of the species.
CRARC ( Recovery Center of Amphibians and Reptiles of Catalonia) will be responsible for providing individuals and will be managed the veterinary control of them.
Further information about Sustainable agrí-environmental development in Les Garrigues on this website.