Conservation status: IUCN – NT (Near threatened); CITES Appendix II.
Geographic range: Southern Europe, near the Mediterranean Sea.
Physical description: These middle-sized tortoises grow up to about 28 cm long and can weigh up to 3 kg. The carapace is painted with black and yellow colour, but the light colours fade away with age and thus their carapace becomes darker. Like other tortoises, this species does not have teeth, but instead a very strong and sharp beak. Males have a longer and thicker tail than females and also have a more concave plastron.
Biology: These tortoises start to wake up from their hibernation at the end of February. They use old leaves and timbers as shelter. Shortly after their hibernation, the mating season starts. During the mating season, males fight for the females and females prepare for laying their eggs. They lay eggs between May and July and can lay from 2 to 12 eggs. After that, the female leaves the eggs and does not care for them.
Lifespan: Up to 30 years.
Food habits: Grass, leaves and flowers. Sometimes can feed on small insects, snails and worms.