The Egyptian Tortoise is the smallest land turtle in the Northern Hemisphere. They are on the brink of extinction due of habitat loss and because people capture them to make pets.
Shell size: Maximum 14.4 cm
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
The Egyptian Tortoise lives in the deserts and grasslands of Egypt, Libya, and Israel.
They feed on vegetation that grows in dry soil.
They live where the temperature difference between night and day is more than 50 degrees. During the warm season afternoons, the Egyptian Tortoise rests in holes in the ground.
Popular for their small size?!
The Egyptian Tortoise is the smallest land turtle in the Northern Hemisphere. Even the larger tortoises have a shell size that measures only 14 cm. Many people like to make pets out of land tortoises, especially if they are small. However, this is exactly what caused their numbers to dwindle. Although there is a ban on their export and import, some people refuse to obey rules and continue to trade them.
They lost their homes and food to eat...
Another unfortunate reality is the loss of habitat. Much of what used to be habitat for the Egyptian Tortoises has now become farmland or towns. Moreover, any remaining grassland has become a pasture for domestic livestock where many goats and sheep feed on the vegetation that used to be the tortoises' food. Many countries are cooperating to protect the Egyptian Tortoise, but many still believe their population will continue to drop further.
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