In 1969 an investigation supported by the FPS/WWF Revolving Fund established that there had been wholesale collecting of tortoises Testudo graeca throughout Morocco. The three exporting dealers reported that tortoises were very sparse in the Casablanca region, their exporting centre; only in the Oued Souss valley of south-west Morocco were they to be found in any numbers. The total Moroccan population in 1969 was estimated to be about five million, occupying an area of approximately 162,000 sq km at a mean density of around 30 per sq km. Because so few were found (only 23), comparisons in abundance between different regions were made only in relative terms; the effects of bulk trade collection on population size and structure could not be pinpointed. Routine size/weight measurements were made in relation to age, sex and maturity; air temperature measurements were recorded in relation to activity and time of year.
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