IUCN Red List Category: LC (Draft)
In West Africa this tortoise occurs throughout the savannah region from western Senegal to the Central African Republic (Trape et al. 2012). Elsewhere it occurs in most of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in Sudan along the Nile, ranging from Eritrea in the north to South Africa in the south, east to northern Somalia and west to South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola (Iverson 1992). Records from Madagascar may represent a prehistortic introduction (Turtle Taxonomy Working Group 2011). It ranges from sea level to almost 2,000 m asl. (Spawls et al. 2002).
This savannah tortoise is found in both dry and moist savannah zones (Spawls et al. 2002, Trape et al. 2012), and also coastal thicket (Spawls et al. 2002). It is very widespread in semi-arid habitats, but is not usually found in very dry savannah or semi-desert (Spawls et al. 2002). It is largely inactive during the dry season, which it spends buried (Trape et al. 2012). It feeds on plants, including fruit, and also on fungi and invertebrates (Trape et al. 2012). Clutches of 2-7 eggs have been recorded in South Africa (Spawls et al. 2002).
This is a locally abundant species in savannah (Trape et al. 2012). The population trend is unknown.
This species can be found in the international pet trade, in almost all cases as wild-caught specimens.
Fire, international trade and collection for local consumption may represent threats to this species. It is not thought to be under threat from habitat destruction due to its wide occurrence in semi-arid habitats (Spawls et al. 2002)..
It is listed on CITES Appendix II and international trade of this species should be monitored. It is known to occur in many protected areas including all West African savannah national parks.
This species is listed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution. Nevertheless, international trade of this species should be monitored.