Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Leopard Tortoise seen in Mkwiro mangrove

While on the journey back from a mangrove walk last week we spotted something rare and unusual – a giant leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis)! Leopard tortoises are historically absent from the coast and this species on Wasini island is most probably introduced at some point. We had once before seen a small leopard tortoise on the island of Wasini – but it had been killed and brought to base so we never imagined one would survive to grow so large!
The tortoise's straight carapace length (SCL) was about 30cm, and straight carpace width (SCW) was around 20, hiding under prickley undergrowth near to the main path from Wasini to Mkwiro. We quietly took a photograph for later identification and left it where it was.
Leopard tortoise