Habitat: Dry spiny forests
Range: Southern and south-western Madagascar
Natural Diet: Grasses and Opuntia which is an invasive species in Madagascar
Status in the Wild: Critically Endangered
These tortoises are only found on the island of Madagascar.
Unique star-shaped patterns on their shell with yellow centers and
lines running from the center to the periphery have made these one
of the most beautiful tortoises of the world. Males have a longer,
more distinct tail than females. Females produce three clutches per
breeding season laying up to 5 eggs per clutch. These eggs are
incubated for approximately 6 to 8 months.
Conservation: major threats to wild populations of this species are habitat loss due to conversion of native habitat to agricultural land, livestock grazing and for collection of wood for domestic use. Individuals are also captured by humans for the pet-trade and for human consumption.