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The Tortoise Trust Guide to Tortoises and Turtles [Paperback]

A.C. Highfield
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2004
The third, fully updated edition of the Tortoise Trust Guide To Tortoises and Turtles is a comprehensive guide to the husbandry and breeding of tortoises and turtles. Unlike many texts, the information here is well researched, accurate, and based upon years of practical experience by acknowledged experts in the field. The advice on choosing animals is comprehensive, and takes into account your 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. You will find reliable advice on feeding chelonia from arid, rainforest and aquatic environments, including how and when to use vitamin and mineral supplements. 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. Captive breeding is also covered, with guidelines on incubators and incubation, as well as 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Carapace Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (1 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873943881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873943885
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 14.2 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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.

Product Description


"By far the best general introduction on this topic" -- New York Tortoise & Turtle Society

About the Author

The author is Director of the Tortoise Trust and is a world-acknowledged authority on the keeping, breeding and conservation of tortoises and turtles. He has written several books on this topic, and has appeared on radio, TV and in numerous videos.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best 19 Feb 2001
Having read many books on the care of tortoises, I have to say that this is the very, very best ever. Guidlines and facts are concise without being too complicated for the lay person to understand. Many books and guides on this subject are either ill/under-informed, simple pet guides or incredibly technical and complicated beyond comprehension. This is neither, being spell binding from start to finish. Whatever you might need to know about the general welfare of the tortoise, it is here. Well worth double the price, but, having said that I've already got my copy! Well done Andy Highfield.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasic! 16 May 2001
This book was so helpfull, I have not owned a tortiose before and this book got me off to a great start. I would recomend this to anyone who is interested in buying or breeding turtles or tortiose. Also if you are serious about buying a tortoise or turtle it is well worth joining the tortoise trust.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Well worth a read, a must before you buy your first tortoise, and a godsend to people with tortoises who have been keeping them using traditional methods.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tortoise 9 Mar 2009
This book had everything I needed to know. It gave complete advice in keeping ,feeding and noticing if your tortoise is unwell and what to do. Thanks to this book, I am now the very proud owner of a tortoise.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sets the standard 31 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book sets the standard for owners/prospective owners of Tortoises. Unlike many other books which offer contradictory advice,this is a straight forward and accurate guide on the subject. Well worth buying.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 28 Jan 2008
This was the first book I read on tortoises and nothing else comes close. Easy to understand. Manages to answer all those niggling questions with a down to earth approach leaving you wondering why you did not think of that! Brilliant!
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