A Conservation Strategy
for the Geometric Tortoise, Psammobates geometricus


Cape Nature Conservation, Private Bag X5014, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
e-mail: baarde@cncjnk.wcape.gov.za

        ABSTRACT:  The results of an investigation of biological aspects and the conservation status of the geometric tortoise, Psammobates geometricus, were used to compile a conservation strategy for this species.  This strategy is firstly a synthesis of updated information on the species’ distribution and biology; it discusses threats operating within the range of the species, provides information on reserves currently containing geometric tortoise populations, and suggests sites for additional reserves.  Secondly, the proposed strategy provides guidelines for (1) the management of viable populations, (2) the consolidation of viable units, and (3) the compilation of reserve management plans.  Thirdly, it discusses the role of fire in habitat upgrading, predator and alien vegetation control, and relocation of threatened populations.  Privately owned sites supporting geometric tortoise populations are discussed in the fourth instance, and guidelines on communication with landowners, rehabilitation of old lands as buffer zones, and the sensitive development of infrastructure on properties are provided.  Finally, the document proposes a cooperative programme for the medium- to long-term monitoring of the status of populations, with details on distribution surveys and methods (e.g., time scales, survey methods and design, and data collection).

  Species Recovery and Management

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