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Rainforest Trust Conducts Successful Survey Of Critically Endangered Geometric Tortoise

The survey documented 72 mature tortoises in four hours.

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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. 

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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South Africa Tortoises


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.