National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for tortoises

Wildlife Trafficking: Beyond Elephants and Ivory

By Susan Lieberman

In the wildlife trafficking policy debate in the U.S., the majority of attention to date has been on elephant ivory and rhino horn from Africa. However, elephants and rhinos are not the only species threatened by illegal international trade. Numerous other species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and others are also subject to trafficking, and they too need increased attention and political and financial support. In testimony I submitted to a meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, I detailed some of the species whose illegal trade is under the radar, but still are suffering the effects of wildlife trafficking.

Watch: Kickboxing Kangaroos and 4 of Nature’s Most Impressive Fighters

After video of kickboxing kangaroos went viral last week, we take a closer look at more of nature’s impressive fighters.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Can a Tortoise Live to 300?

We tell you if a tricentenarian tortoise is really possible, why lovebugs don’t get eaten, and why your cat loves a clean litter box.

How Did a Tortoise Survive 30 Years in a Box?

A Brazilian family recently found their long-lost pet tortoise in a box after 30 years. Find out how the reptile made it through the ordeal.

Galapagos Expedition Journal: Face to Face with Giant Tortoises

Some 250,000 giant tortoises once roamed the Galapagos islands. But taken for meat by pirates and whalers, their populations collapsed to near extinction. We visit the Charles Darwin Research Research Center to see how the giant tortoise has been restored, and we visit scores of wild tortoises in their natural habitat in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.

Galapagos Expedition Journal: In the Footsteps of Charles Darwin

In 1835 Charles Darwin arrived on Floreana Island in the Galapagos, noting in his journal that it had long been frequented, first by buccaneers, latterly by whalers–and then political dissidents exiled from mainland South America. The giant tortoises Darwin saw on Floreana have since been extirpated from the island and the prisoners and pirates exist only in history. But the scenery he described remains much the same, and a tradition of leaving mail in a “post office barrel” for collection and delivery by passing ships has endured for two centuries.

The Venomous Lizard, a Snake-Eating Snake, and the Tortoise that Holds its Poop

USGS herpetologist Cecil Schwalbe is a popular scientist at the Saguaro National Park BioBlitz. He demonstrates some of the charismatic reptiles found in the park, including a venomous lizard, a snake-eating snake, and a tortoise that survives the desert drought by holding in its pee and poop.

Madagascar Foils Smuggling of Rarest Tortoises

Authorities in Madagascar this week arrested two men and seized close to 200 of some of the world’s rarest tortoises that they were trying to smuggle out of Antananarivo’s Ivato Airport to Jakarta, Indonesia, TRAFFIC, the wildlife monitoring network, said today.

Extinction nears for Madagascar’s radiated tortoise

Madagascar’s radiated tortoise–considered one of the most beautiful tortoise species–is rapidly nearing extinction due to rampant hunting for its meat and the illegal pet trade, a team of biologists from the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reported today. “The team predicts that unless drastic conservation measures take place, the species will…

New York’s Bronx Zoo Has a Baby Boom

It’s a spring-time baby boom for many animals, including those in zoos. New York’s Bronx Zoo’s Julie Larsen Maher sent these photos of some of the zoo’s recent arrivals. WCS photo by Julie Larsen Maher In time for Mother’s Day, the Bronx Zoo in New York released these photos of a giraffe calf, named Margaret…