Test of the efficacy of two chemical repellents in the control of Hermann's tortoise nest predation

  • Published source details Vilardell A., Capalleras X., Budó J., Molist F. & Pons P. (2008) Test of the efficacy of two chemical repellents in the control of Hermann's tortoise nest predation. European Journal of Wildlife Research (formerly Zeitschrift für Jagdwissenschaft 1955-2003), 54, 745-748.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using chemical deterrents

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using chemical deterrents

    A controlled study in 2006 in grasslands in Catalonia, Spain (Vilardell et al. 2008) found that chemical deterrents did not prevent artificial Hermann’s tortoise Testudo hermanni nests from being predated. Results were not statistically tested. Almost all artificial Hermann’s tortoise nests were predated within four days whether they were protected with chemical repellent (carnivore repellent: 63 of 64, 98% nests predated, carnivore and wild boar Sus scrofa repellent: 78 of 80, 98%) or not (143 of 144, 99% nests predated). Unprotected nests were generally predated more quickly than protected nests. Wild boar predated 85% of nests when wild boar and carnivore repellent were used together compared to 99% of nests when carnivore repellent only was used. Other predators included common genet Genetta genetta, beech marten Martes foina and fox Vulpes vulpes. Artificial nests (three quail Coturnix coturnix eggs, buried and watered with 15 ml of diluted tortoise urine and excrement) were created in eight plots (625 m2/plot) in a Hermann’s tortoise breeding colony. In June 2006, Schwelger© carnivore repellent was distributed in four plots (25 devices/plot; 16 nests/plot). In September 2006, wild boar repellent (Stop Jabali © Hagopur GmbH) and fresh carnivore repellent were distributed to the same four plots (20 nests/plot). Nests in experimental and untreated plots were checked for predation daily for the first 15 days and weekly for up to 3 months.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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