Tortoise breeding and 're-wilding' on Rodrigues Island

  • Published source details Griffiths O., Andre A. & Meunier A. (2013) Tortoise breeding and 're-wilding' on Rodrigues Island. Chelonian Research Monographs, 6, 178-182.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release reptiles outside of their native range

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Release reptiles outside of their native range

    A replicated study in 2006–2013 in grassland on Rodrigues Island, Mauritius (Griffiths et al. 2013) found that that captive-bred Aldabra giant tortoises Aldabrachelys gigantea and Madagascar radiated tortoises Astrochelys radiata, released outside of their native ranges to replace extinct tortoises and provided with supplementary food, bred in the wild. Seven years after captive-bred Aldabra giant and Madagascar radiated tortoises were released, 568 Aldabra and 1,114 radiated tortoises hatched in a private reserve. The authors reported that survival rates had been satisfactory overall. In 2006–2013, captive-bred Aldabra giant tortoises (>480 individuals) and Madagascar radiated tortoises (100 individuals) were introduced as ecological surrogates for extinct Rodrigues giant saddleback tortoise Cylindrapis vosmaeri and Rodrigues domed tortoise Cylindrapis peltastes into a privately-managed 20 ha reserve. Native and endemic vegetation was planted and released tortoises were provided with supplementary food (seasonal fodder, fruit and vegetables) until replanted native vegetation matured. Any hatchlings discovered in the release area were also collected and brought into the nursery facility for up to 4 years before being returned to the release area.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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