Range- Northern African Saharan Desert, Chad, Nigeria, Mali, Sudan, Senegal, Ethiopia. Large span of Northern Africa is inhabited.
Habitat- Given the large area in which the Sulcata is found, the majority of the landscape and natural habitat is very dry 5 ro 6 months out of the year savanna grassland type conditions. The wet part of their natural range is very wet, humid, and marsh land type of geography. The native lands can get very hot, reaching temperatures in the 100’s very easily.
The Sulcata tortoise keeps from the hot temperatures by digging burrows, that can be up to 20 feet deep, and tunnel to the surface of the grassland. They primarily come out into the savannas at early dusk and early dawn, then seek shelter in their burrow during the middle of the day to escape the heat. Dry grassy landscape with succulent plants makeup the majority of the landscape in the Sulcata tortoise’s native boundaries.
Diet- Large variety of native grasses, broad-leaf weeds, succulents and cactus fruits. Sulcata tortoises are a grazing species, they will graze on grasses just like a cow or any other graze animal does.
Size-Males reach adult size of 36+ inches in length and up to 250+pounds. Females reach 32-34” in length and up to 150-250 pounds.
Conservation- Threatened species in the wild. Pet trade negatively influenced the numbers in the early 1970s-1990s when large numbers were exported to the United States and Europe. Since then, the Sulcata has been banned from many export allowances due to the fact that African ticks use the Sulcatas as a host posing “infectious” disease threats to foreign wildlife per US and EU officials, thus allowing wild numbers to be sustained and even increase over the years.