Tortoises

Seychelles has one true giant land tortoise since it is not proven genetically that there are more. Wild populations were found only on Aldabra Atoll after settlements were established on the granitic islands. Individuals were later reintroduced to some granitic islands. Captive bred stocks are maintained on most islands with human settlements. Aldabra has probably the highest concentration of roaming giant land tortoises with an estimated population size of more than 100 thousand individuals. Curieuse is the only other island where tortoises roam free. Most hotels are keeping land tortoises under special conditions of maintenance. Many Seychellois families are also keeping tortoises as pets. The species is long-live, herbivores and spend most time foraging or sleeping. They have a diet of mostly fruits and other plant matters but will readily consume anything. The Seychelles giant land tortoise is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) as an Appendix II species. The Giant land tortoise is protected throughout the Seychelles under the ‘Wild Animals (Giant Land Tortoise) Protection Regulations (1974). The export of giant land tortoises is strictly controlled under both the CITES and under these regulations.