Status, Distribution, and Population Structure of Land Tortoises in European Thrace and Northwestern Anatolia

Oğuz Türkozan, Ferhat Kiremit, Ertan Taşkavak, Kurtuluş Olgun


We examined a total of 47 (23♂♂, 23♀♀, and 1 juv.) individuals of T. g. ibera from Anatolian Thrace and 34 (23♂♂, 9♀♀, and 2 juv.) from European Thrace (ET) morphologically and morphometrictly. Furthermore, 12 (8♂♂, 3♀♀, and 1 juv.) individuals of T. hermanni boetgeri were examined. For morphological comparison 38 morphometric characters standardized by SCL were investigated. The ET ibera males differ from Anatolian Thrace males by: a shorter maximum gular scute length (ANOVA, F = 8.350, p < 0.01), pectoral suture length (F = 12.397, p < 0.01), anal suture length (F = 4.841, p < 0.05) and nuchal length (F = 4.913, p < 0.05). The ET females differ from Anatolian females by a shorter pectoral suture length (F = 4.396, p < 0.05) and anal suture length (F = 5.373, p < 0.05). However, these morphometric differences could not be identified visually. The individuals were found at 168 ± 18.2 m (range: 40 – 385 m) and 176 ± 13.95 m (range: 58 – 367 m) altitudes in European Turkey and Anatolian mainland, respectively. The southernmost range of hermanni was in Şarköy. We could not see hermanni further southern part of this border. The minimum age of ET population ranged from 4 to 13 with a mean of 8.7 ± 2.43 while the mean age was 8.7 ± 1.80 (range = 5 – 12) in Anatolian range. The minimum age ranged from 8 to 12 with a mean of 10.2 for T. h. boetgeri individuals. Carapacial scute abnormalities and tick infections were also recorded.


Reptilia; Testudines; Testudinidae; Testudo graeca; Testudo hermanni; Thrace; Turkey

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