Emystrack [FINISHED]


INICI: Jenuary 2020

FINAL: December 2020



The EMYSTRACK project aims to expand the knowledge of the different nuclei of pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) in the plain of La Selva for their management and preservation. The specific objectives are as follows:

O1. Continuing E. orbicularis started in 1987 with ADEPAR.
O2. Define the geographical area of ​​the population center of Caldes de Malavella in order to know its geographical scope and make a more accurate estimate of its population size.
O3. Detect the laying and breeding areas that allow the high recruitment observed in the town of Caldes de Malavella.
O4. Investigate the connectivity between the nuclei of Riudarenes and Caldes de Malavella, and identify potential connectivity areas.
O5. Carry out a sampling of the biodiversity associated with the habitats of E. orbicularis
O6. Raise awareness among the local population about the pond turtle and the value of wetlands
O7. Carry out space management with known pond turtle nuclei in order to maintain and improve habitat conditions for the species.









AOn the plain of La Selva is the best-preserved population of pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) in Catalonia. The Emys Foundation (formerly ADEPAR) has been working for its preservation since 1987, monitoring its population centers, promoting natural corridors and conserving their habitat through land stewardship.

Since 2008, a population center located in the Sant Maria stream (Caldes de Malavella), which has a high population density and a seemingly high reproductive success, has been included in the monitoring. However, the complete geographical area of ​​this nucleus, the connectivity it may have with the population of Riudarenes, or the preferred areas for laying and breeding, making it vulnerable to possible disturbances of the habitat, is still unknown.

On the other hand, the preservation of the population centers of Riudarenes depends to a large extent on the management and conservation of its habitat, as well as on the information collected with the annual monitoring. Therefore, the present project proposes a detailed study that allows to expand the knowledge of the population of Caldes, by means of sampling of capture-marking-recapture and the tracking of individuals with GPS, a methodology little applied to the species and that can contribute information detailed of its behavior applicable to its conservation. There will also be a sampling of the amphibian community associated with the habitats of Emys orbicularis, and the presence of potential predators. Lastly, the project includes the maintenance and management of ponds in custody where well-known nuclei of the species live in order to improve their conditions (such as ensuring adequate sunshine points, maintenance of spawning grounds, control of exotic species), as well as actions to disseminate and raise awareness among the local population.



  1. 2 monitoring campaigns for known nuclei of Emys orbicularis (autumn and spring)
  2. Sampling of 10 new areas around the town of Caldes de Malavella
  3. GPS tracking of up to 6 adult individuals of Emys orbicularis
  4. Sampling of amphibians and carnivores in the ponds of the known nuclei (about 18 spaces)
  5. Study of connectivity between the different known nuclei
  6. Management and improvement of 5 spaces with the main population centers of the species
  7. 6 workshops for young people and children, 1 volunteer day, 1 outing for the Foundation's sponsors, 8 social media posts and a press release at the end of the project