Archive for August 22nd, 2013

Have you decided?

August 22nd, 2013 Comments off

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” ~

Jane Goodall

Egyptian Tortoises

August 22nd, 2013 Comments off


Aren’t these sweet?  They are newborn Egyptian Tortoises, critically endangered & nearly extinct in the wild. source: Sharon Watson

Testudo kleinmanni was discovered in Israel in 1963 and has been the focus of an ecological study there for more than a decade. Inhabiting semi-stable dunes which it shares with a rich herpetofauna, the tortoise occurs in a handful of localities in the northern Negev Desert. The largest and best studied population inhabits Holot Agur (Agur Sands), an area about 400 sq km between Beersheba and the Egyptian Border.

For a number of years, it appeared inevitable that most of Holot Agur would be incorporated into the Israeli Nature Reserves Authority to safeguard this unique tortoise and other sand dune denizens. Unfortunately, there is political pressure in Israel both to build human settlements and to allow unrestricted grazing in the areas with thriving T. kleinmannipopulations. The Nature Reserves Authority has suffered from cutbacks and political inertia. Only a handful of nomadic Bedouin, no longer dependent on transhumancy for their livelihood, would stand to benefit in the slightest from untrammeled grazing rights in Holot Agur. The effect of their herds on the desert wildlife is likely to be as disastrous as the construction of permanent human settlements.

 source: tortoiseorg James Buskirk
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