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NTG – Appeal for Protection of Tortoises

New Thracian Gold appeals to people not to collect tortoises for food or pets! If you see someone gatherering tortoases, immediately call 112 or the nearest Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters! Tortoises are endangered reptile species listed in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In Bulgaria, the collection and keeping in captivity, killing or disturbing tortoises is punishable under the Biodiversity Act and the Criminal Code.

This NTG appealis triggered earlier this week by the case announced by Regional Inspectorate of Environment and WatersHaskovo, earlier this week: 11 tortoises have been saved from poaching. They were kept in a well. Experts found out that ten of tortoises are Hermann's tortoise and one - Spur-thighed tortoise. The animals were in a good condition. The experts released them in the nature. This is the third in a row case in the region in 2013.

In Bulgaria, there are two species of tortoises Hermann’s (Testudo hermanni) and Spur-thighed (Testudo graeca). In the past, they have been widely distributed throughout the country except in the high mountains. Nowadays, tortoises are endangered species. The intensive agriculture has exterminated them in farmland and field boundaries in the past, and nowadays, they are threatened by illegal collectioners for food or pets. The Eastern Rhodopes are one of the last strongholds of tortoises in Bulgaria.

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