What we're doing....

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What we're doing....

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:01 am

I thought I would just give you all an update on what we are actually doing out right now.

As you know, the past 3 or more years have been spent doing intensive infra-red and UVB work, looking at the effects of basking lamps and developing alternative housing systems.

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/b ... ealth.html

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/climateframe.html

This has been incredibly time consuming, but also very productive, as it has huge potential benefits for captive tortoises (and other reptiles) the world over. Incidentally, a few more practical construction details are going to be added to the 'Climate Frame' article very soon.

I have also been very busy working with leading veterinary surgeons on new guidance for housing, nutrition and care of captive tortoises for Oxford University Press. This will have a major impact on guidance to animal welfare officers and others involved, from veterinary nurses to veterinary training.

So, that's what we have been doing for captive tortoises.

We have BIG problems with wild ones, however, and now it is time to direct some more effort towards them. There are some crazy things happening right now! This is one of the craziest...

200 people in Cuevas lose homes for a new tortoise sanctuary


200 people in the Los Lobos area of Cuevas and Murcia stand to lose all they possess as a new natural park for tortoises is shifted to avoid expropriating farmland.

The national government has been ordered by Brussels to declare a new National Park to allow the endangered local tortoise species to survive, after it ran the unnecessary and unbuilt AVE high speed trainline through the centre of their habitat. The AVE, along with the toll road between Vera and Cartagena, is expected to seriously affect the species.
However, the first location for the park has been shelved after farmers objected. Instead, Madrid has shifted the location of the park towards the coast, directly affecting some 200 people who live in farms and hamlets in the area.
But locals have not yet received any information on the project, discovering that their homes are in danger only after Ideal newspaper published the list of affected owners. The newspaper had discovered the list in the Official Bulletin of the State, not a periodical that is closely studied by local smallholders.
The State has said that the expropriation is continuing as it always does in these matters, slowly but surely, and that local residents have been invited to express their opinions. However, locals denounce that the only local organisations sitting on the expropriation boards after the same farmer cooperatives that forced the original plans to be shelved!
Some 500 ha will be expropriated for the tortoise sanctuary.
Source: David Jackson

I doubt very much that I need to point out to you on this forum that you cannot take land that has been bulldozed and had buildings on it, or used for intensive agriculture, and then expect to dump tortoises on it and have them survive and call it a "tortoise sanctuary"!!!! Also, if we take those 200 houses, and conservatively value them at 150,000 euros each that is 200 X 150,000 = 30 MILLION EUROS! It could be much more. Very much more. It could be 50 MILLION.

That is more that has been spent on tortoise conservation in the rest of Europe combined for decades! It is plain nuts, especially as it would be 100% useless and would achieve zero. Nothing.

There is precedent for this... a similar "sanctuary" was built at a place near here. It "only" cost a few hundred thousand, I believe... but it stands empty, doing nothing. It has never been used. They may as well have piled the cash up and set fire to it for all the good it did for tortoises. Of course, quite a lot of people do very well out of this kind of thing - lawyers, land owners getting "compensation" and that kind of thing.... the tortoises, for some reason, seem to end up with nothing as usual!

So, this is a huge problem. There are EFFECTIVE ways to conserve tortoises, without huge expenditures, too... as our friends at ACUDE are doing so effectively:

http://www.custodiadelterritorio.com/in ... &Itemid=18

http://www.custodiadelterritorio.com/

We are very concerned about these issues (and some equally crazy laws on keeping tortoises that have already led to the release of hybrids and tortoises with disease risks), so at the invitation of our Spanish colleagues and friends, we are going to be directing substantial efforts over the the next 12-18 months to get some improvements made.

As this is all rather "politically sensitive", we cannot give detailed updates, but rest assured - we are very much "on the case" and I will keep you informed as well as I am able to.

Testudo graeca is the species we have worked with most over the past 35 years. Much of that has been directed at welfare in captivity - now we need to invest some time in helping their wild cousins... while there are still some left to help.....

Thank you all for your continuing support in this.
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Re: What we're doing....

Postby Bigjoe » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:06 pm

If there is anything we can do as members just shout Andy,if anyone ever has the opportunity to see them in the wild you must..to think they could be lost is unthinkable ,this is why we as members should show our support by doing as much as we can no matter how little to support The Jill Martin Fund..eBay ..list an item,you'd be amazed what junk people buy,use easy funding again simple to use and doesn't cost you a cent...your 5 minutes can make a difference
Joe
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Re: What we're doing....

Postby JerryMaffz » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:01 pm

I have to agree Joe. As custodians of captive tortoises I feel that we are morally bound to do what we can to assist their wild cousins. I am a paid up member of TT, have joined the easyfundraising system...Now what can I find to flog on ebay? :D
Keith
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Re: What we're doing....

Postby Bigjoe » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:46 pm

Spot on Keith..listing an item on The Jill Martin Fund page is so easy,just follow the link in mine and Joan's posts and bang..job done,if you have a iPad / iPhone even more simple with eBay app.
Joe
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Re: What we're doing....

Postby Joan » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:18 pm

JerryMaffz wrote:I have to agree Joe. As custodians of captive tortoises I feel that we are morally bound to do what we can to assist their wild cousins. I am a paid up member of TT, have joined the easyfundraising system...Now what can I find to flog on ebay? :D


Bigjoe wrote:Spot on Keith..listing an item on The Jill Martin Fund page is so easy,just follow the link in mine and Joan's posts and bang..job done,if you have a iPad / iPhone even more simple with eBay app.
Joe


If you have a printer you can recycle the ink cartridges here: https://www.recycle4charity.co.uk/Register/C9559

Very easy to use - envelopes or boxes are provided and postage is free!
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Re: What we're doing....

Postby Joan » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:40 pm

Just realised we have hi-jacked Andy's original post. Sorry Andy!
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Re: What we're doing....

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:07 pm

Just a quick update... we have been working overtime on these issues. Marcos (who some of you know from this forum) is also involved and we are putting together some suggested protocols...

So, If I have seem a bit "scarce" lately, that's why.

We are working with some good people to try to do something. As always, though, it is "politically sensitive" so what we can say openly is very limited at this stage.

I just thought I had better let you all know I am still here... :lol:
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