Conservation of the swiss populations of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis)

Sylvain Ursenbacher , Matthieu Raemy

The European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis, L., 1758) is the only turtle species native in Switzerland. Due to human impact, the species became extinct during the last centuries because of the high consumption by humans, the loss of its habitat and their nesting sites. Nowadays the species is going to be reintroduced in favourable sites to reinforce critically endangered Swiss populations.
Various parameters and information are required to ensure the success of the reintroductions, such as the suitability of the site (aquatic habitat with a vegetation belt in close vicinity to nesting sites, presence and abundance of food,...), the release of enough individuals to form viable populations on the long-term and the reintroduction of the accurate subspecies.
This project will provide important scientific information to help and to optimize the strategy of reinforcement of the Swiss Emys populations. It will focus e.g. on the genetic analyses of old individuals (subfossils and animals in Museum collections), the composition of the diet as well as evaluation of the fitness of well-established and newly created populations.

Keywords: European pond turtle - reintroduction - fitness


Ducotterd C, Crovadore J, Lefort F, Rubin J-F & Ursenbacher S (2021) — A powerful long metabarcoding method for the determination of complex diets from faecal analysis of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis, L. 1758) — Molecular Ecology Resources 21: 433–447

Ducotterd C, Crovadore J, Lefort F, Guisan A, Ursenbacher S & Rubin J-F (2020) — The feeding behaviour of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis, L. 1758) is not a threat for other endangered species — Global Ecology and Conservation 23: e01133–

Raemy M, Fritz U, Cheylan M & Ursenbacher S (2017) — Hybridisation between turtle subspecies: a case study with the European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) — Conservation Genetics 18: 287–296

Raemy M, Monney J-C & Ursenbacher S (2013) — European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) conservation projects in Switzerland — Herpetological Notes 6: 111–112


European pond turtle

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