Radiated Tortoise

August 15, 2022

The radiated tortoise is a spectacular species that lives in the woodlands of southern Madagascar, feeding on the grasses in the thorny brush forests. And they face increasing threats, including exploitation as pets, poaching for local consumption, and a decreasing natural habitat.

While it was formerly among the most abundant species, the radiated tortoise is now under conservation under Malagasy law to boost its population once more. The 1,000 hectares Berenty reserve is one such conservancy dedicating a 3-hectare area to tortoise protection.

The vibrant-looking tortoise has a beautiful bumpy black shell with golden-yellow streaks, and it can live up to 50 years in the wild and 100 years in captivity; it lives in the southern and hotter areas of Madagascar and can weigh up to 35 lbs.

The radiated tortoise is an herbivore, foraging for grasses, eating seeds, fruits, shrubs, and succulent plants. And they drink from water pools on rocks to quench their thirst as the environment is usually very hot.

Fun Facts about the Radiated Tortoise

  • The stunning radiated tortoise was once one of the most abundant tortoise species in the world. The rapid degradation of its habitat and a high market demand threatens its survival. As a result, its population has declined by more than 50%.
  • Radiated tortoises are among the rarest species, highly endangered due to illegal poaching.
  • Radiated tortoises live in the dry areas of brush, thorn forests, and Madagascar's woodlands. They are herbivorous, and they predominantly feed on grasses.
  • Radiated tortoises have a striking appearance; they have a long lifespan of up to 40-50 years in the wild and up to 100 years in captivity.

1 Comment

  1. Carl

    Humankind is anything but kind. Given the workings of human ego, the drive for survival had predictably warped into greed. These beautiful turtles are witnessing the cruelty of a predator that has no reason. Such a predator—if they know it or not—is psychopathic.


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