Rainforest Trust Conducts Successful Survey Of Critically Endangered Geometric Tortoise
November 21, 2017
The Rainforest Trust, which worked to successfully conserve 810 acres of habitat for South Africa’s rarest tortoise, the critically endangered geometric tortoise (Psammobates geometricus), announced that it has conducted a successful survey of the reptile.
JAMES JUVIK - TURTLE CONSERVANCY
A researcher measures a geometric tortoise.
A recent survey conducted by the Rainforest Trust in conjunction with the Turtle Conservancy and the South Africa Tortoise Conservation Trust found 72 mature tortoises in four hours, or about 9 percent of the estimated population, which apparently is a good number of sightings. It is estimated that just 800 mature tortoises are left in the wild.
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The geometric tortoise is restricted to a small area in the southwestern Cape Province of South Africa. It is estimated that 96 percent of its natural habitat has been destroyed by humans. The geometric tortoise is a high-domed tortoise that shares a genus with the serrated tortoise (Psammobates oculifer), a more common species, and the tent tortoise, (Psammobates tentorius). Subspecies include Psammobates tentorius tentorius, P.t. verroxii and P.t. trimeni. All are endemic to South Africa.