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#1 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:42 PM

Photo taken just a few days ago in the Massifs des Maures, the last place in mainland France where this tortoise lives wild and free. Its very dry as you can see, with a mix of pine and cork oak trees, evergreen shrubs and subshrubs such as Cistus species and Strawberry Tree and a kind of lavender. Well it makes a change from the usual photos we put up here!

#2 Guest_brucefairweather_*

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 08:34 PM

did you see any in the wild??that would be great.i want to do that one day

#3 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 09:29 PM

Oooooh lucky ol' you!! :D

What a fab place to visit. If this is the last place they are found in the wild are the little guys protected?

There is another place I would like to think about going to in France, Le village des tortues, I remember reading about it somewhere and thinking.... one day!

I feel another enclosure revamp coming on for your little guys Oz!! :D

Paula x

#4 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 09:52 PM

Hi folks. Yes I was at the Village des Tortues as well. They have 60 breeding female THH there and various other species as well (though the other species are just there to make it a viable place to attract visitors). Its a special place with enclsoures for the tortoise that are very natural. For the THH its so natural because it IS the habitat, so it wasn't so hard for them to make good enclosures.

There are protection laws and stuff. Will it work? Well they are giving it a good go and the Village des Tortues people release large numbers of 8 year olds every year to boost populations. But in the end its all about habitats. Will they stop the developments that threaten the habitat? Only time will tell but there are pressures on this region. For one, loads of people want to live there and a lot of them are very rich. Another is forest fires. In some parts of the region what we need is more human activity like the olive groves and smallholding farmers who clear the ground periodically and prevent true forest getting established. But that way of life is going out of fashion with young people - its very hard work.. Other interests demand more forest to benefit other species, but the torts need some open spaces. I just wish that the French would make the whole of the Massifs des Maures a big national park and stop any more developmemt. Which is easy to sit here and say when I'm not trying to live there working for a living.

#5 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 06:22 PM

Mmmmm poor little chaps. :wub:
I hope they one day resolve these issues.
A national park sounds lovely! Perhaps we can all move over there and surround the area and turn it into a huge torty heaven... style_emoticons/default/smile.gif

Paula x

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