Uporedne karakteristike populacije šumske kornjače (Testudo hermanni Gmelin) u istočnoj i jugoistočnoj Srbiji sa aspekta strukture, izbora staništa i antropogenog uticaja
Committee membersStojadinović, Dragana
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The research was conducted at four localities in Serbia, from which two are situated in eastern Serbia: Čemor and Gonjište, and two in southeаstern Serbia: Kunovica and Pašina česma. The localities Gonjište and Pašina česma are characterised as with an open type of vegetation, while localities Čemor and Kunovica, which are located on the territory of protected area, have a more closed type of vegetation. Population parameters of Hermann's tortoise were collected in all localities using the Capture-Mark-Recapture method. Population density of tortoises situated in the eastern part of Serbia was higher in regarding to those from southeastern part of the country. Analysis of the age structure of the populations revealed that the presence of adult individuals is dominant in all localities. Average individual age was higher in populations inhabiting protected areas and those in southeastern Serbia. It was noticed that the females in all populations were more numerous and active during sprin...g and summer months. Analysis of micro- and macrohabitat preferences showed that tortoises in eastern and southeastern Serbia choose specific parts of the habitat to perform different daily and seasonal activities which indicates the need to preserve the complexity of the habitat. Illegal collecting of tortoises in the wild is indicated by local folklore and cultural heritage. A sociological study showed presence of higher level of superstition in protected areas and in the eastern part of the country. The presence of superstition indicates a greater motivation for collecting and killing wild animals. The people’s desire to protect tortoises by taking them home is the indirect threat, and the true reason for this behavior is belief that taking tortoises from the wild is ensuring them safety. Many people consider tortoises as slow and vulnerable animals. All results obtained in this study were used to define detailed conservation measures which aim to ensure the preservation and restoration of habitats for the Hermann's tortoise, as well as education of the local community to reduce the conflict between humans and the Hermann's tortoise in the eastern and southеastern parts of Serbia.