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Reptile of the Year 2014: European Pond Turtle


The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Group of MME Birdlife Hungary has selected the Reptile of the Year to be the European pond turtle in 2014. The reason for selection is that despite its widespread distribution in Hungary, we have scarce knowledge about its nesting sites for instance. Many times 100% of these nests are predated, which is a worrying sign for the species' future. When looking for proper place for the nest, female turtles tend to wander far from water, often crossing roads, where they may be hit by traffic. Further problem for them is the presence of many non-native turtle species. They may pose concurence for food and basking place, meanwhile threatening them by transferring new parasites.

Summing up, this year we expect not only observations on European pond turtle individuals, but data on nests or nest predation as well as non-native turtle observations. Local groups of MME could apply for funding of organising costs of related events, so locally presentations and guided trips are expected throughout Hungary. From our part we can provide our expertees: as we compiled material for presentation, printed leaflets and produced pin-badge, as well as in the official shop of MME merchandised products are availeble, like T-shirt, mug or fridge-magnet with European pond turtle prints.


Freshly emerged juvenile European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis)

(photo: Bálint Halpern)