Predators and competitors

Predation pressure affects mainly the eggs and young tortoises.

Habitat changes for over half a century have seen an important reversion to forest, forcing the tortoises to lay their eggs in small areas.


Natural egg predation has increased, and locally the usual predators (stone marten, fox and badger) have had more success. The extraordinary growth in wild boar populations in the last thirty years has also increased predation on eggs and juveniles.

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Dogs also represent an important threat for juveniles, as well as adults. Approximately 30% of veterinary care given to wild tortoises is for wounds caused by dogs. Close to villages and
housing estates, a high proportion of individuals has wounds caused by dogs: severed limbs, gnawed carapaces.