The Turtle Conservancy’s Geometric Tortoise Preserve near Cape Town just got ten new residents! In a recent joint effort between our preserve, CapeNature and an adjoining farm owner we were able to rescue ten geometric tortoises from deteriorating habitat associated with a new 25 acres farm reservoir development. With little shade cover and extensive clearing on the small enclosed area there was no prospect for maintaining a sustainable tortoise population into the future. Using detection dogs we were able to recover 10 live and 2 recently dead Geometric Tortoises (pointing to the timely urgency of our effort). The rescued animals have now joined more than 500 of their highly endangered relatives in our adjacent preserve which constitutes the last large remaining population of this species and the threatened fynbos ecosystem.
In another positive development we have exercised a purchase option for an additional 50 acres of tortoise habitat from another adjacent farm. The Rainforest Trust (one of the original partners in the preserve creation) has offered a substantial matching grant toward this new $100,000+ addition.
We hope other TC members and partners can contribute to this effort.