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FACT SHEET

Tortoises for many years were been collected from the wild and exported to Europe from their native countries with the result that in some areas they became almost extinct. Tortoises conservation has come a long way since then with most species now listed on the CITIES appendix and protected by law in their native countries, but still in many countries are killed by cars on roads or by insecticides.

These are enough reasons for all of us to treasure each tortoise in our care, not as just a recreational hobby but instead as a genuine contribution to nature conservation.

Doís and Doníts
  • If you have a tortoise already which you want to get rid of, do not simply release it, approach your local tortoise association and they will place it in the care of someone who can look after it.
  • If you are good at keeping tortoises do not start a collection of many species. Instead, attempt to breed animals of one or few species.
  • Try to establish contact with other tortoise fanciers in your neighbourhood to share mutually beneficial information about your animals.
  • If you are thinking of buying or adopting a tortoise read up on tortoises care to find out whether you will be able to care properly for such an animal possibly for many years. Give careful consideration to whether you really want a tortoise or whether some other animal will do instead.
  • When you receive an unknown tortoise you first have to find out what species it is. Only then will you be able to determine what the animal needs eg:
    1. what sort of habitat it comes from, what sort of enclosure we have to provide
    2. what temperature it requires
    3. what food it must be given,
    4. whether the animal must hibernate during the winter months