Aldabra tortoise

Aldabra tortoise Geochelone gigantea

ClassReptilia
OrderTestudinae
FamilyTestudinidae
Size1.20m (♂)
Weightup to 250kg
Incubation4–5 months depending on rainfall
Eggs9–25
Life-spanup to 150 years
Diet
herbivorous (with occasional small invertebrates or carrion)

Habitat
grasslands

Range
Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles


This species only survives in the wild on the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles archipelago. Together with the Galapagos giant tortoise, it’s the world’s largest land tortoise.
 
Active early in the morning, Aldabra tortoises rest in the shade as soon as it starts to get hot. The breeding seasons lasts from February to May. Females lay 10–20 eggs in a shallow nest. Less than half of them are fertilised. The young are independent as soon as they hatch and leave the nest.
 
For a long time Aldabra tortoises were a food source for local people and the sailors who explored these shores between the 17th and 19th centuries. The coral atoll of Aldabra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is now protected. Tourism is restricted and carefully controlled in order to guarantee the preservation of this unique eco-system that is home to more than 400 endemic species and sub-species.




Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)

  • Not evaluated
    NE
  • Data deficient
    DD
  • Least concern
    LC
  • Near threatened
    NT
  • Vulnerable
    VU
  • Endangered
    EN
  •  Critically endangered
    CR
  • Extinct in the wild
    EW
  • Extinct
    EX

In the zoo