Gea Chelonia Foundation: Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria: width=



Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria




Gea Chelonia Foundation: Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria



The urgent necessity for the effective protection and conservation of threatened tortoise species in Bulgaria inspired Ivo Ivanchev in April 2007 to create “Gea Chelonia Foundation”- the first NGO in Bulgaria dedicated to the conservation of tortoises and turtles.
Gea Chelonia Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing primarily on tortoise research and conservation. It is incorporated under Decision №1 of 20.04.2007 according to F. D. 1682/2007 of the Burgas District Court.  A major goal is to attract the attention of similar international organizations, thereby benefiting from their experience and to bring tortoise research and conservation measures to an adequate level.  Additionally, the goal is to gather those people who love chelonians and are dedicated to preserving and studying the natural populations of one of the earth’s most endangered vertebrate forms.
Gea Chelonia Foundation (GCF) is officially recognized by the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water as the only NGO allowed to carry out field activities and research with the legally protected native tortoise species, Testudo graeca ibera  and Testudo hermanni boettgeri .


Our mission is:

  • To campaign for chelonian conservation nationally;
  • To operate the only Tortoise Centre in Bulgaria;
  • To make available the most accurate and detailed information possible concerning Bulgarian chelonians;
  • To promote research for the benefit of chelonians in Bulgaria;
  • To implement conservation programs benefiting natural tortoise populations;
  • To relocate individuals of doomed populations as sensibly and sensitively as possible, and only when no other solution is feasible;
  • To carry out training programs for volunteers to assist in conservation and public education;
  • To offer rehabilitation facilities for injured and/or formerly captive chelonians when necessary, to include captive breeding and the relocation or reintroduction of the progeny to suitable areas;
  • To promote the humane treatment of chelonians everywhere.



Spur-tailed tortoise \Testudo hermanni\
Spur-tailed tortoise \Testudo hermanni\
Juvenile tortoise