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Egyptian Tortoise history

The population of Egyptian Tortoises is severely threatened by a variety of sources. While traditionally found throughout the arid deserts around the Mediterranean Sea, extending from Israel to Libya, they have been forced out of many of their natural homes by predation, overgrazing, and development. Much of the tortoise's habitat is being destroyed by agriculture. Plowing eliminates much of the vegetation the tortoises feed on, as well as destroying the cover and the substrate. Besides destroying the habitat, the plowing likely kills the tortoises as well. The surviving animals must move to habitats that still exist, and compete with each other and other species for food and cover. Even in areas where the habitat remains, the tortoises must compete with much larger animals such as sheep and goats for food. When the area has been overgrazed, there is no food for the tortoises. Egyptian Dwarf Tortoises are also threatened because of collection. While the collection of the Egyptian Dwarf Tortoises has decreased in recent years, in the past they were collected for the pet trade quite heavily.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Egyptian_Tortoise".
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