Direct destruction of individuals


The impact of forest fires on tortoise populations is very important, particularly because this is a frequent disturbance. Mortality rates observed after a fire are very high (between 60 and 85% of the total population).

Populations are very slow to rebuild, and the effects of fire can last for up to 30 years. The recurrence of fires within thirty years generally signals the disappearance of the species.


It is therefore more than ever to respect the safety instructions for the fight against forest fires in the summer.


The mechanisation of forestry operations (namely the clearance operations for the prevention of forest fires) and agricultural operations (mowing and flailing of grazing plots) result in high
mortality for the species. Clearance operations for preventing forest fires (firebreaks, maintenance of road verges and of areas around residential housing) often result in making the habitat temporarily suitable for the tortoises by providing open areas; this makes it attractive to individuals close to the cleared area.
However, they then become vulnerable each time the machines are used.


Loss of individuals due to forest clearance and agricultural machinery


As a rule, accidents caused by clearance machinery represent more than 1/3 of cases of wild tortoises seen by vets. Yet forestry operations also contribute to the protection of the species by limiting the spread of fires.

It is therefore a matter of maintaining these operations whilst mitigating their impact in the species conservation priority zones.


Man with two other predators exert strong pressure on tortoises in the wild.

Dogs often flush out and catch individual tortoises, and can easily injure or kill them. In the Plaine des Maures, the number of tortoises demonstrating bite marks is very high, particularly close to inhabited areas or to areas attracting many visitors. 

Predation from wild boar also seems to be a substantial threat, especially since the Var populations have greatly increased in the last 30 years. Egg-laying areas and juveniles are particularly threatened.

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