Introduction It has become increasingly obvious that tortoise populations are being reduced or deci- mated throughout their global distribution because of range fires, habitat destruction and the trade in pets. Tortoises are peculiarly vulnerable to these threats being slow moving and defenceless. In recognition of these urgent problems, the Tortoise Group was formed as a result of the IUCN Species Survival Commission meeting in Florida 1980 and Sir Peter ScoTT, the then Chairman of the Commission, invited me to serve as founding Chairman. The Tortoise Group exists to make governments and decision-makers aware of the need to conserve tortoises; to advise on National Red Data lists and laws for the protec- tion of tortoise species on those lists; to encourage international agreements through which nations can co-operate in conserving endangered species; to provide accurate, current information concerning problems that may threaten species and an effective in- formation network to recognise opportunities of enhancing the status of endangered species; to advise the Species Conservation and Wildlife Trade Monitoring Units; to put forward specific proposals for conservation projects; and to stimulate, encourage and help in research, extending our knowledge of these reptiles. In order to fulfill these responsibilities, we have
Amphibia-Reptilia – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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