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The Tortoise Trust Guide to Tortoises & Turtles [Kindle Edition]

Andy Highfield , Nadine Highfield
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 194 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

The Tortoise Trust Guide to Tortoises & Turtles is a comprehensive and highly practical guide to the captive husbandry of tortoises and turtles. Unlike many texts, the information here is well researched, accurate, and based upon years of practical field, rescue centre and zoo experience by acknowledged experts in the field. The advice on which species are most suitable as potential pets is comprehensive, and takes into account local climatic conditions as well as space requirements. The various kinds of housing demanded by differing species is discussed in detail. Feeding is another topic that causes much confusion, and again, this text not only provides practical advice on diets for various species, but explains why these species need to be treated differently. Commonplace nutritional disorders and their causes are highlighted, for example, the causes and prevention of shell deformities. You will find reliable advice on feeding chelonia from arid, rainforest and aquatic environments, including how and when to use vitamin and mineral supplements and the importance of UVB lighting and natural sunlight. Also featured is advice on how to hibernate tortoises safely, and details of which species do and do not hibernate. The health care section is especially comprehensive, detailed, and up-to-date, with an emphasis on prevention and the avoidance of cross-infections and behavioural related injuries through mixing incompatible species. Captive breeding is also covered, with guidelines on constructing and using incubators, as well as advice on hatchling care and rearing. All in all, the Tortoise Trust Guide remains one of THE classic texts on this topic and one which has been highly commended by Tortoise and Turtle societies worldwide. This 4th Edition includes a significant amount of new information based upon recent studies in the wild, and extensive laboratory trials and comparisons of various housing and lighting systems. Written in a very straightforward and accessible style, it nonetheless packs in a wide range of subject matter that will be of interest to keepers of all levels.


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More About the Author

It seems like only yesterday that I was walking past a pet shop and saw a rather sorry collection of clearly ill tortoises on sale... in fact, it was well over 35 years ago. I had long been interested in reptiles, and as a child had kept snakes and geckos. Those tortoises reignited my interest, and before long, together with the late Jill Martin, I found myself taking in all manner of sick and unwanted tortoises and turtles. It was clear that information in the field was lacking, and that much of the information out there was just plain wrong, and in many cases, lethally so. Thus began the research that subsequently took over my entire life. It has led to some pretty remarkable places, from the Galapagos Islands, through the Middle East and North Africa, to North and South America, and to the Mediterranean (where I now live and continue to study tortoises in their natural habitat). Sadly, despite all of the new knowledge we now have on captive husbandry, you can still find sick animals on sale in pet stores, and poor information is, if anything, even more rife now than it was when we started. We try to keep the books as up to date as possible, and of course, make recent research available via the Tortoise Trust website.

Over the past four years, we have spent thousands of hours monitoring wild tortoises, recording their diets and behaviour, and have used a variety of "high-tech" methods (including data-loggers and infra-red thermography cameras) in order to enhance our understanding of their biology and lifestyle. We have also carried out similar, comparative, studies on captive animals. This new data has allowed us to understand in much more detail what often "goes wrong" in so many captive situations. By applying this new information, we can continue to develop improved methods and can enhance tortoise welfare considerably.

It is quite amazing when you consider even some of the most 'obvious' stuff that until these studies was completely unknown. For example, we found true nocturnal behaviour in Testudo graeca - an animal known since 1758, yet no-one had ever previously recorded this in the species. Quite remarkable. It certainly demonstrates that unless you take the time and trouble to look, you will never know!

Since this is author central and I am supposed to share 'interesting details' with my readers, while most know me for my work with tortoises and turtles, it is less known that I have, for just as long as I have been involved in that area, taken an equal interest in vintage guitars and mandolins, and have run a recording studio specialising in acoustic, traditional music. Even less well known is that I have a book on that subject coming out in 2014. So there you are, you looked at this and now you know.



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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, Understandable Advice for Novices 8 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Before I got my first tortoise I read a lot about them, and found much of the information online garbled and contradictory. Based on other recommendations I bought this book, and was relieved to find clear, concise advice for beginners which left me feeling confident in my ability to care for a tortoise. I found the idea of sutdying and recreating the animals' natural habitat a useful rule of thumb for makign day-to-day adjustments.

As the range covered by the book is so wide some of it doesn't relate to me, but these sections were easy to skip. The advice in this book has since been confirmed by a breeder and the tortoise is active and eating well. If you're not sure what you're doing, or want to do it better, this is a good place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ebook for ALL tortoise keepers 8 Jan. 2014
By Graham
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are thinking of owning / keeping a tortoise this is an excellent book to read to get up to date info with all the necessary detail to look after your tortoise properly. It explains in detail where they come from and how they live in the wild. There are sections on housing , feeding , and medical / health problems . You will quickly learn that most people including general vets have little knowledge how to manage these animals. This book will give you an excellent start to keep your pet healthy for many years to come.
Great little book and excellent on kindle , also download onto your laptop / PC or palmtop for a handy reference book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read For Tortoise Owners 29 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very informative and ideal for all tortoise owners especially beginners. It takes you through everything you need to know so your tortoise can be kept healthy and happy.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a comprehensive but accessible, easy to read book. It covers all aspects of care, health and husbandry. Based on the research of the Tortoise Trust, studying tortoises in their natural habitat, including behaviours, diet, and habitat combined with the knowledge of experience. This book covers individual species and their welfare requirements and is a wonderful resource. Jacqui
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