Nine turtles, rehabilitated by the team from Porto d'Abrigo do Zoomarine, were released in the Fonte da Benémola Local Landscape, announced this Thursday, July 28, the Loulé Chamber.
The animals – Spoon, Tapio, Tan, Tarzan, Timon, Tercio, Tazo, Txikia and Tiny – are now entering a new phase of their lives in this protected area, where there is an identified distribution of the species.
All the tortoises now released belong to one of the endemic species of tortoises that occur in Portugal – Mediterranean tortoise (leper Mauremys) – with protection status, although not threatened.
«It should be noted that the main threats to native tortoises are the destruction, alteration and pollution of their habitat, illegal capture for commercial purposes and the introduction of invasive alien species, in particular the Florida tortoise (Trachemys scripta)», says the Loulé Chamber.
This action was agreed between several entities: the ZOOMARINE Aquatic Specimen Rehabilitation Center, the Algarve Nature and Forest Conservation Department of the Nature and Forest Conservation Institute (ICNF) and the Loulé Chamber.
The municipality is, moreover, the managing entity of that protected area that accompanied and supported this return on the ground, with the participation, in addition to the Zoomarine team directly involved in the recovery of the animals, of a resident of the protected area and a team of ICNF's nature watchdogs.