Radiated tortoise Astrochelys radiata (ESB)
Sizeup to 45cm
south and south-west Madagascar
These tortoises are named for the intricate star patterns on their dark shells, consisting of bright yellow lines radiating from the centre of each plate. Endemic to Madagascar, they are highly endangered by the loss of their natural habitat and by being hunted for the illegal animal trade and for their meat. They are one of the most beautiful tortoises in the world.
Active even in the dry season, they hide at night and go looking for food in the morning, before it gets very hot. Females can lay 1–5 eggs several times a year. The species is slow to mature sexually, with individuals only able to breed from the age of 20 years.
Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)
- Not evaluatedNE
- Data deficientDD
- Least concernLC
- Near threatenedNT
- Critically endangeredCR
- Extinct in the wildEW