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Demography of Eurotestudo hermanni in a mesic area of Central Italy

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Hermann's tortoise (Eurotestudo hermanni) from a mesic area of Central Italy (Isernia, Molise) was investigated during a two-year period (2003-2004). The population is characterized by a fairly high density when compared to other Italian and European populations, with density ranging from 16.16 individuals/ha in 2003 to 25.08 individuals/ha in 2004 (average density 20.84/ha). The sex ratio was 1:1 both in 2003 and 2004. Females were captured in higher percentages from May to July in both years, while males were most abundant from August to October. These differences can be related to the different needs and behaviour of males and females in the two periods, and to the environmental constraints of the study area. All the marked tortoises were found aged between 10 and 21 years. Adult males and females from the study area were small-sized when compared to those from other Italian and European populations.


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