The  Conservation  Biology of Tortoises.

Occasional Papers  of the  IUCN  Species  Survival Commission  (SSC) No. 5. 204 Seiten.
Published by IUCN,  Gland,  Switzerland. ISBN  2-88032-986-8.

Aus der Einleitung:

This contribution to the Occasional Papers of the IUCN Species Survival Commission  (SSC)  on  the  status  and distribution  of the  Testudinidae,  or  terrestrial  tortoises,  is  the  result  of  five years of work by members of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise Specialist Group  (which  has  since become the  Tortoise  and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group) and is published on the occasion of the First World Congress of Herpetology at the University of Kent, September  1989.   This  work  was  stimulated  by  our  lack  of knowledge  regarding  the  forty  species  of tortoises  which  became apparent at our inaugural meeting at  Oxford  in  October 1981  and our inability to answer many  of the basic  questions relating  to their conservation. It was  executed under the  title "Operation  Tortoise."

We  have  provided  the  latest  information  on  each  species, including the Latin name, common names, description, taxonomy, geographic variation, status and distribution, habitat and ecology  (particularly  behaviour,  reproduction,  and  feeding), threats  to  survival,  conservation  reserves  and  recommendations,  and current research.   We have also provided the most complete bibliography on  the Testudinidae ever published.

In drawing up this report we have been concerned that the information is as up-to-date as possible, but we expect, indeed hope, that it will be redundant in a few years as more and more people work on these fascinating animals.  We have also been conscious of the needs of the local people and their interests, a vital  part  of  any  successful  conservation  programme  as  so clearly  demonstrated  by  the  Group's  successful  Project  Angonoka/Kapidolo in Madagascar, and the SOPTOM project in southern  France.    The  SSC  Tortoise  and  Freshwater  Turtle Group Action Plan, also published at the Kent Congress, goes even  further in  an  attempt to integrate  scientific  and practical conservation.

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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 11:16

CHANSA, W. & WAGNER, P. (2006)

On the status of Malacochersus tornieri  (SIEBENROCK, 1903) in Zambia.

Salamandra 42 (2/3): 187-190. ISSN 0036-3375.


The pancake tortoise Malacochersus tornieri is recorded for the first time from north-eastern Zambia. A two weeks study was carried out during the rainy season 2003 in hilly areas with kopjes (rocky outcrops), which are typical habitats for the pancake tortoise. Sixty-eight (66+2) individuals were sighted, captured, marked by toe clipping and released. Only two individuals were captured twice.

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Manouria emys (Schlegel and Müller 1840) – Asian Giant Tortoise, Giant Asian Forest Tortoise.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.086.emys.v1.2015,


The Giant Asian Forest Tortoise, Manouria emys (Family Testudinidae), is the largest tortoise species in mainland Asia, with a straight carapace length (CL) of up to at least 600 mm, and mass up to 37 kg. Two subspecies, M. e. emys and M. e. phayrei, are distinguished by geographic distribution, coloration, plastral scute pattern, and maximum size. Manouria is considered to be among the most primitive of living tortoise genera. The species occurs in hilly wet forest; its diet includes green vegetation, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and fallen fruits. Unlike most tortoises, which tend to prefer relatively arid habitats, M. emys prefers a mesic habitat and is often found in and around cool flowing streams, sitting for days in water or mud, or foraging in such habitats. Although the species is active all year round, some individuals exhibit an inactive period of up to two months in the cool dry season. The species exhibits unusual nesting activity; females build mound nests of forest floor debris, deposit large annual clutches of up to 60 eggs, and guard the nest for the early portion of incubation. Despite their size, the behavioral ecology of M. emys has been little studied. The species has apparently been extirpated in the westernmost portion of its range and is highly threatened everywhere else. Healthy populations are known to occur in a few protected areas in Thailand and Indonesia, but most remaining habitat is being rapidly degraded and destroyed, and the species continues to be collected for food and smuggled into the pet trade.

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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 09:12

LE, M., HOANG, T. & LE, D. (2004)

Trade Data and Some Comments On the Distribution of Mauremys annamensis (Siebenrock, 1903).

Asiatic Herpetological Research 10: 110-113.


This trade survey of Annam Pond Turtle reveals that this species is likely to have larger distribution than previously thought. The records in the trade in Quy Nhon and Ho Chi Minh City suggest its range could extend much further south. In addition, given the one way south-north trade route, the absence of Mauremys mutica in the trade south of Hai Van Pass and the reported absence of M. annamensis in the trade north of the Pass support the hypothesis that the Pass is the natural barrier for the two species ranges. This hypothesis combined with the long existence of the Pass might indicate that the speciation between the two species happened when their ancestors dispersed across the Pass, and were subsequently isolated, by the means of rafting or walking through narrow land strip emerged during the low sea level period. In terms of conservation, M. annamensis has become much rarer even in the trade, suggesting immediate conservation measures to protect it.

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Taxonomic Reevaluation of Phrynops (Testudines: Chelidae) with the description of two new genera and a new species of Batrachemys.

Rev. biol. trop vol.49 n.2 San José Jun. 2001. Online-Version: ISSN 0034-7744.


Relationships among turtle species loosely categorized within the South American genus Phrynops are explored. Three once recognized genera (Batrachemys, Mesoclemmys and Phrynops) that were demoted to subgenera, and then synonymized with Phrynops, are demonstrated to warrant full recognition based on morphometric analysis, skull osteology, and mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequencing. Mesoclemmys  is resurrected from the synonymy of Phrynops as a monotypic genus including M. gibba. The genus Rhinemys, previously a synonym of Phrynops, is resurrected for the species R. rufipes. Ranacephala  gen. nov. is described to include the species R hogei. The genus Batrachemys  is resurrected from the synonymy of Phrynops and includes B. dahli, B. nasuta B. raniceps, B. tuberculata, and B. zuliae. The taxon vanderhaegei  is placed in Bufocephala  gen. nov. The genus Phrynops is redefined to include the taxa P. geoffroanus, P. hilarii, P. tuberosus and P.williamsi. Ciadistic analysis of morphological data supports this taxonomy. A new species of Batrachemys  is described from the western Amazon region, and is distinguished by having facial markings in juveniles, a relatively wide head, and a flattened shell. The new species, B. heliostemma  sp. nov., is sympatric with and most similar to the recently resurrected form Batrachemys raniceps in the upper Amazonian region of Peru and adjacent Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia. Lastly, morphometric data from living and museum specimens of all species of Batrachemys are presented.

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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 15:27

PRITCHARD, P. C. H. (2008)

Chelus fimbriata  (Schneider 1783) – Matamata Turtle.

Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. A.G.J. Rhodin, P.C.H. Pritchard, P.P. van Dijk, R.A. Saumure, K.A. Buhlmann, and J.B. Iverson, Eds. - Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.020.fimbriata.v1.2008
© 2008 by Chelonian Research Foundation. Published 4 August 2008


Chelus fimbriata, the matamata turtle (Family Chelidae), is the largest member of its pleurodiran family, and is surely the most bizarre turtle in the world. It has an exceedingly rough, tuberculate  carapace,  a  greatly  elongated  and  thickened  neck,  and  a  wide,  triangular,  extremely flattened head, with a tubular nasal extension, reduced anteriorly displaced eyes, and an extremely wide mouth. It is specialized for feeding upon live fish that it sweeps into its mouth by a rapid lateral strike of the neck and jaws, and a vigorous simultaneous expansion of the hyoid apparatus in the neck. It is distributed widely in South America, and currently does not appear to be threatened significantly anywhere in its range.



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Molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of West Indian boid snakes (Chilabothrus).

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution Volume 68 (3): 461–470.


The evolutionary and biogeographic history of West Indian boid snakes (Epicrates), a group of nine species and 14 subspecies, was once thought to be well understood; however, new research has indicated that we are missing a clear understanding of the evolutionary relationships of this group. Here, we present the first multilocus, species-tree based analyses of the evolutionary relationships, divergence times, and historical biogeography of this clade with data from 10 genes and 6256 bp. We find evidence for a single colonization of the Caribbean from mainland South America in the Oligocene or early Miocene, followed by a radiation throughout the Greater Antilles and Bahamas. These findings support the previous suggestion that Epicrates sensu lato Wagler is paraphyletic with respect to the anacondas (Eunectes Wagler), and hence we restrict Epicrates to the mainland clade and use the available name Chilabothrus Duméril and Bibron for the West Indian clade. Our results suggest some diversification occurred within island banks, though most species divergence events seem to have occurred in allopatry. We also find evidence for a remarkable diversification within the Bahamian archipelago suggesting that the recognition of another Bahamian endemic species C. strigilatus is warranted.



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The identity of the crackling, luminescent frog of Suriname (Rana typhonia Linnaeus, 1758) (Amphibia, Anura).

Zootaxa 2671: 17–30 (9 Nov. 2010) 1 plates; 97 references


Review of the literature and recently available field notes from the collector of the type allows a reconsideration of the identity of the Linnaean name Rana typhonia. We provide evidence to demonstrate that the Linnaean species is neither a bufonid nor an Asiatic ranid, but a Neotropical hylid. Subsequently, we consider Rana typhonia as an older synonym of Rana venulosa Laurenti, 1768, redescribing its holotype under the new combination, Trachycephalus typhonius (Linnaeus, 1758).

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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 09:27


Wiederentdeckung einer ausgestorben geglaubten Population der Baleareneidechse, Podarcis lilfordi (GÜNTHER, 1874) auf der Illa de Ses Mones (Balearen, Menorca, Spanien) in Sympatrie mit der Ruineneidechse, Podarcis siculus (RAFINESQUE-SCHMALTZ, 1810).

Die Eidechse, 21 (3): 65-74.


Es wird über die Wiederentdeckung einer Population der Baleareneidechse (Podarcis lilfordi) auf der im Hafen von Port d`Addaia gelegenen Insel Illa de Ses Mones berichtet, von der man annahm, sie sei in den 1990er-Jahren durch die eingeschleppte Ruineneidechse (Podarcis siculus) verdrängt worden. Neben Informationen zur Illa des Ses Mones wird zum ersten Mal über ein sympatrisches Vorkommen von P. lilfordi und P. siculus berichtet und die hier lebenden Eidechsen erstmalig beschrieben und abgebildet. Weiterhin wird auf die in der Literatur häufige Verwechslung der Insel Illot d'en Carbó mit der Illa des Ses Mones hingewiesen und schließlich die taxonomische Stellung der wiederentdeckten Podarcis lilfordi von der Illa de Ses Mones diskutiert.

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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 16:29

PINYA, S. & CARRETERO, M. A. (2011)

The Balearic herpetofauna: a species update and a review on the evidence.

Acta Herpetologica 6(1): 59-80, 2011


Here, we update the current list of amphibian and reptile fauna present in he Balearic Islands, probably the most outstanding case in the Mediterranean and of the most in the world where massive species introduction is in conflict with the survivorship,of highly restricted endemic taxa. Resulting of a long term evolution in insularity,endemic herpetofauna was already decimated during the Pleistocene but, after the human colonisation of the archipelago, the introduction of alien species, passive or deliberate, has been provoking new extinctions and range retractions in the native herpetofauna. Such process is not interrupted but has even intensified during the last years. The current species list is composed by five amphibians (one native) and 21 reptiles (2 native). A critical review of the evidence on extinctions and introductions is provided together with the conservation implications. Compared to the last review (Mayol, 1985) six new reptile species are now naturalised or are in process of naturalization, colubrid snakes constituting the most conflicting element due to their predator role.



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