Conservation efforts

In the 1980s, naturalists and scientists draw for the first time the alarm about the urgent concern for the conservation of this iconic species in the south of France.

However, conservation efforts began in earnest in the 1990s. The work carried out since the early years helped lay the groundwork for the conservation of the species.


The establishment of the Natura 2000 network has set out guidelines for the conservation of biodiversity. Protected areas for the Hermann’s tortoise were created as including National Nature Reserve of the Plaine des Maures in 2009.

Land acquisition by the Conservatoire du Littoral and CEN PACA allow the sustainable conservation of some sites.

Des suivis écologiques ont pour but d’évaluer sur le long terme l’évolution des populations. Ils ont permis de préciser leur répartition et d’évaluer la vulnérabilité de l’espèce dans le Var (carte de sensibilité).

The cause of the tortoise meets both associations, scientists, state departments or local authorities. Its conservation will be especially related to the control of man causing the disappearance of individuals and suitable habitat threats.

A National Action Plan for Hermann’s tortoise that defines a conservation strategy for the long term and identifies actions to be taken in favor of the Hermann tortoise was written in 2008 by different actors of his life (EPHE SOPTOM, CEN PACA and Conservatory Sites of Corsica).

The DREALs PACA and Corsica, the National Office of Hunt and Wildlife, the National Forestry Office, the PACA region, the Var General Council have been involved in the development of this document.

The plan includes eight operational objectives (2009-2014):

1. Improve the recognition of the needs of the species
2. Maintain a coherent network of suitable sites and populations
3. Maintain and develop favorable habitats
4. Reduce threats to fire
5. Limit losses of specimens
6. Avoid weakening the genetic or health of populations
7. Increase knowledge and scientific assessments
8. Involving the public in the conservation of the species.

A FEDER program (European Regional Development Fund) made from 2008 to 2009, entitled "Men and Turtles" was intended to unite, organize and enable all stakeholders around the issue of conservation of Hermann’s tortoise.
Brochure : Plan National d’Actions en faveur de la Tortue d’Hermann


Despite real progress, too few sites have a suitable and sustainable management of habitats. Questions still remain about the ecology and behavior of the tortoises (preferences in terms of habitat, population dynamics, dispersal of young, ...).
Improved knowledge will allow a better guide management actions.

Public awareness and in particular the younger generation for the conservation of the species is one of the most durable levers. Despite many efforts, the species and its threats are fairly considered.

The implementation of the European program Life + Hermann’s Tortoise, approved by the European Commission in 2009, should allow to get some progress on these issues in terms of knowledge, action for the conservation of the species , information and awareness.