Endangered Species

The Egyptian Tortoise

By Molly Smith

The Egyptian Tortoise

The Egyptian Tortoise is a tiny turtle that has a shell about 4 inches across when they are full grown. They are the most endangered type of tortoise in the world because people want them for exotic pets.

Why is this a problem?

When a species in endangered and might become extinct, ecosystems are affected. The Egyptian Tortoise is important to its ecosystem because they are herbivores and food for other animals. Plus 28% of reptiles are already extinct and that number will be more if animals like the Egyptian Tortoise go extinct.

Why are they endangered?

Egyptian Tortoises are endangered for two main reasons. One is that people want the cute turtles for pets. Another is that their habitat is being destroyed.

Examples of the Problem

  • Ecosystems are effected when animals become extinct
  • Symbiosis is effected
  • If an animal dies out then the whole food chain if effected, which could lead to other species going extinct

Egyptian Tortoise Pictures

Solution 1

As a solution to the problem of habitat loss, Egyptian Tortoises are bred in captivity and released back into the wild in reserves and catching or killing them is illegal. This would be a good solution in zoos and endangered animal centers.

Pros:
  • The tortoise population will go up
  • There will be less danger of extinction
  • In captivity there are no predators
  • The tortoises can be studied



Cons:

  • The very small wild population of the Egyptian Tortoises will be even smaller
  • When they are released back into the wild many can't survive and die
  • After they are released, many are recaptured even in nature reserves, by poachers
  • The tortoises in captivity are sometimes attacked by mice or rats because they are so small.

Solution 2

As a solution to the problem of the tortoises being captured and kept as pets, more protective measures have been taken to protect the small number of remaining tortoises in the wild. This would be a good solution in the wild where the Egyptian Tortoises live.

Pros:
  • The remaining tortoises are already adapted to live in the wild
  • Most poachers will not be able to get the tortoises
  • They can reproduce and live naturally
  • They are able to live in their natural habitat


Cons:

  • There are only about 70 Egyptian Tortoises living in the wild, so they could easily become extinct
  • Most poachers pay small or young people to sneak in and capture the tortoises
  • There are predators in the wild
  • They reproduce less often in the wild

The better solution

I believe that the better solution is to breed and protect the Egyptian Tortoises in endangered animal centers and good zoos. This is the better solution because the tortoises can be kept safe in captivity. Plus, there turtles are so small that they can have plenty of space at endangered species centers. This is also a good solution because the tortoises can live longer lives in captivity.

What You Can Do