Trenca is responsible for a project aimed at creating a colony of Hermann’s tortoises that can live in this area in a semi-captive environment in which the tortoises can reproduce, and therefore recover the species without having to release the animals on a permanent basis. This project has already been put in motion and Endesa’s involvement is active and ongoing, by financing the work of technical experts in biodiversity conservation. “The first thing Endesa’s experts did was visit the area to define the work required to create the perfect habitat for the tortoises”, recalls Almarza.
This work, which was required in order to create a population of tortoises in a semi-captive environment, was carried out in a group of rural properties, covering an area of around 20 hectares managed by Trenca in Valle Mayor de Bovera (Lleida). Two ponds (400 and 100 square metres, respectively) were built and waterproofed with compacted clay. Fencing systems and double enclosures were also installed in the properties. The idea was to protect them insofar as possible from predators such as boars or foxes, enabling them to live in the wild, although closely monitored.
The release of the tortoises, a resounding success
22 June 2016. In collaboration with CRARC (Catalan Centre for Recovery of Amphibians and Reptiles) and with the assistance of volunteers, since 2016, through the Testudo hermanni project, numerous Hermann’s tortoises have been released. They all had a chip inserted in their shell to identify them, which allows permanent control and supervision to help them in their reintroduction into the habitat. As a result of this monitoring, a minimum survival of 40% of the reintroduced specimens has been detected.