justanimaladay:

Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata

The Radiated Tortoise is endemic to Madagascar, preferring to live in the dry brush and thorn forests in the southern portion of the island. They graze on grasses, which make up most of their diet, but will also feed on cacti and fruits if they find them. They are very long lived, with estimated lifespans of up to 100 years. The oldest verified Radiated Tortoise belonged to the royal family of Tonga and lived to be 188 years old. 

These tortoises are classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, as they have disappeared from 40% of their native range, and are experiencing ongoing population decline. In fact, it is estimated that they will be extinct within the next 50 years if current trends continue. Threats to the population are mainly habitat loss due to human expansion, and exploitation for the pet trade and for food by local people. 

justanimaladay:

Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata

The Radiated Tortoise is endemic to Madagascar, preferring to live in the dry brush and thorn forests in the southern portion of the island. They graze on grasses, which make up most of their diet, but will also feed on cacti and fruits if they find them. They are very long lived, with estimated lifespans of up to 100 years. The oldest verified Radiated Tortoise belonged to the royal family of Tonga and lived to be 188 years old. 

These tortoises are classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, as they have disappeared from 40% of their native range, and are experiencing ongoing population decline. In fact, it is estimated that they will be extinct within the next 50 years if current trends continue. Threats to the population are mainly habitat loss due to human expansion, and exploitation for the pet trade and for food by local people. 

justanimaladay:

Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata

The Radiated Tortoise is endemic to Madagascar, preferring to live in the dry brush and thorn forests in the southern portion of the island. They graze on grasses, which make up most of their diet, but will also feed on cacti and fruits if they find them. They are very long lived, with estimated lifespans of up to 100 years. The oldest verified Radiated Tortoise belonged to the royal family of Tonga and lived to be 188 years old. 

These tortoises are classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, as they have disappeared from 40% of their native range, and are experiencing ongoing population decline. In fact, it is estimated that they will be extinct within the next 50 years if current trends continue. Threats to the population are mainly habitat loss due to human expansion, and exploitation for the pet trade and for food by local people. 

pawsandmore:

The radiated tortoise may be extinct in 20 years, according to one estimate. The picture isn’t much better for four other tortoise and turtle species on Madagascar, as a new report states that political instability has opened the way for armed militias to poach 1,000 tortoises – every week. Take a look at the effort to save these species from extinction.

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/madagascar-tortoises-47020709#ixzz1mJN6DfYV

A few survivors of a giant Galapagos tortoise species thought to have gone extinct in the 1840s may still exist on a volcanic island in the Pacific!! (click for the full article)

So exciting! Having just watched the 3 part BBC documentary on the Galapagos islands, featuring a long history of all the tortoises on the islands, its extra cool to read this. 

Best part of the article for me? 

It’s even possible that some of the Floreana tortoises living on Isabela Island are the children of ones Darwin saw, San Diego’s Ryder says. These species are known to live to 100 and beyond, he says. “The direct offspring of animals alive in 1840 could still be alive.”