I see tortoises all the time but this was at park near my house instead of the urban research area. A huge difference struck me today- where are the burrows? I couldn’t find one.
I grew to appreciate how densily populated our research area is. See they live in a residential area where development hit a hault a couple years ago. So… ¼ of the lots in the area are abandoned while the rest have houses on them. The tortoises are abundant, I mean they’re kinda everywhere. But it’s certianly not natural eh? They’re living on top of each other basically. Its over crowded. How long will they last? They look like they’re thriving right? Yet this is an animal that lives 60 years and doesnt reach reproduction age till 10 years. So thats the motivation behind our work really. Are they doing alright?
An incredibly thoughtful post. It’s true and hurts the heart to think that they are dwindling in any way and how many ways their lives as (as a species) have changed even while so many think “oh well I see a bunch so they’re fine”. I imagine it hurts to be one of the 300 creatures that their burrows provide shelter for as well.