Tortoise Protection
Tortoise Protection
Pond turtle was until 1960s very popular in many locations in Poland, what is reflected in historical names of many villages (zolwin -turtle village). Later because of general lowering of water levels in many places due to melioration, dry summers and lower rainfall - less and less habitats of high biodiversity in a small area (dry hatching sands, water basins for normal bahaviour).Project is innovative - under permission of the Ministry for Environment a selected number of experts wit special IDs could take eggs from turtle's nests for winter artificial incubation, breeding and then - releasing into specialy selected area of high securitywith previous historical record of turtle's presence. All new stock was marked; genetic reseach was done by German partners , special condition of reelasing were kept minimalising stress etc. All these efforts were made to enforce dimishing weakening turtle population in Polane, in the eastern part of Poland (Lublin Voivodship), near Olsztyn, in Radom Voivodship and Dolnoslaskie and Gorzowskie Voivodships. teams of researchers and volunteers from 4 centers were involved what gave the ground for further developments and continution of this national wide program.Very active co-operation with local communities and authorities through common actions, training and education (leaflets, poster, door-to-door education and chats, classeswith children, moblisation of people during Sunday services by priests.
New places where turtles were released - process of taking it into official, legal protection has started.
It became one of the most spectacular and visible projects supported by GEF/SGP in 1990s due to popularity of turtle, local pride of having something many wish to have, films released on TV (full control over filming period in order not to disturb turtles); the only problem in wider educational results and effects was secrecy kept over locations, what was necessary having in mind pouchers, illegal traders (very popular animal in animal's shops)...
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Project Snapshot

Polish Society of Wildlife Friends pro Natura
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 10,441.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 15,331.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 3,304.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
Very active participation of local community, individuals, schoolchildren, local parishes,foresters, border quard (providing oftently transporations services; to avoid illegal traders all of them were trained and asked to be very discret and not talk to people from outside about turtle location, so we cannot report about transparency of all activities but it was necessary for the sake of the turtle populationl
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ECOFUND; local government of Radom, Chelm;EURONATUR (Germany)