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The first European Pond Turtles (Emys orbicularis) with microchips

From Wednesday, March 22nd, to Friday, March 24th, 2023, we conducted the first regular monitoring of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) and the invasive red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) in the area of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park (KPSS) as part of the LIFE UrCA PROEMYS project. During the three days of trapping at eight locations, 27 European pond turtles were caught, and no red-eared sliders were found. Invasive red-eared sliders must be removed from the environment.

Two turtles were newly caught, whereas the rest were recaptured and had scales filed in previous years. This year, as part of the LIFE UrCA PROEMYS project, we began inserting nanosized microchips into European Pond Turtles, which will replace traditional marking and enable faster identification of captured individuals in the future. We photographed all individuals and their irises for the first time, which are unique to each individual. Since 2018, we have captured 701 European Pond Turtles in the KPSS area, and the first 27 have already received microchips. To ensure that everything went smoothly, veterinarian Peter Maričič from Koper carried out the chipping, and data collection and recording were performed by Melina Tadić from Pula, a master’s nature conservation studentat FAMNIT.

Through interventions under the LIFE UrCA PROEMYS project, we will ensure a favorable conservation status for the marsh turtle, which qualifies the Natura 2000 species (included on the list of strictly protected vertebrate species of the Bern Convention (Appendix II) and the list of Habitats Directive (Appendix II).

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