African spurred tortoise
The African spurred tortoise, also called the African spur thigh tortoise, is the largest of the African mainland tortoises.
Scientific name: Geochelone sulcata
Family Classification: Testudinidae
Common names: African Spurred Tortoise, Grooved Tortoise
IUCN Red List Category: Vulnerable (1)
Year Assessed: 1996 (Needs updating) (1)
Countries: Chad; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Niger; Somalia; Sudan (1)
Description: The African spurred tortoise is a desert-dwelling tortoise well camouflaged by its overall sandy coloration, having thick golden to yellow-brown skin and a brownish carapace. Mature males can reach up to 80 cm (2.6 feet) in length. They can weigh up to 100 kg (220 lbs).
Maximum adult weight: 105 kg (231 lbs)
Diet and predation: African spurred tortoise are herbivores. Primarily, their diet consists of many types of grasses and plants. A small portion of their diet also consists of fruit.
Conservation status: Populations have declined rapidly due to habitat loss as a result of urbanisation, overgrazing by domestic livestock and desertification. They are also severely threatened by overcollection for the international pet trade.
1. IUCN Red List (February, 2011) http://www.iucnredlist.org
African Spurred Tortoise Profile