Range – Chaco tortoises are found in the Chaco desert regions of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. The Gran Chaco is a diverse style of desert in South America. The northern region of the Gran Chaco is the dry region where the Chaco tortoise is mainly found. The Southern Gran Chaco is more swampy and humid and begins back to a tropical fauna area, where there are no findings of this species. The Northern regions where Geochelone Chilensis is found is primarily made up of arboreal succulents, brush cover, and bunch grasses. It’s a semi-arid to sandy soil, dry to moderately humid with a 6 month wet season and a 6 month dry season.
Habitat – Found in burrows, typically under the low shrubbery in the desolate arid regions the Chaco inhabit. Lots of arboreal cacti species and white carob trees.
Diet – Primarily succulents, will graze on species of grasses in the latter part of the wet season to dry season, and then revert back to succulents during the dry season when grasses are in drought and have lost vital nutrients that would benefit this herbivore’s primary diet.
Size – Males will reach 5-6″ in length and the largest female on record was 9″.
Conservation – Classified as Vulnerable IUCN 3.1, our organization feels this species is and will be imminent for a species survival program in the future based on its lengthy incubation periods, and small amount of egg clutch sizes. The deforestation and cultivation of the Gran Chaco deserts has begun to plight this species native land. This species is often exported by the thousands. It is very difficult to keep this species alive in captivity, much less breed it. Our program focuses on doing so to ensure its survival.