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Activity and home range of Testudo hermanni in Northern Italy

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

We describe the behavioral adaptations of a population of Hermann's tortoise to the climate of a northern sector of its range, and to a wooded biotope that is uncommon for the species. The activity, the home range, and the thermal relations along the daily and the yearly cycle are described. In contrast to other populations that have bimodal activity peaking in spring and in autumn, the tortoises in our study area had unimodal seasonal activity that can be related to lower summer temperatures. Home range size, 7.4 ha for females and 4.6 ha for males in our study area, was from three to seven times larger than that of all other populations. The large home range, and the low population density of the tortoises in our study area, may be due to food scarcity in the wooded habitat.


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