Occurrence and activity budget of the leopard tortoise, Geochelone pardalis, in northern Tanzania
Occurrence and activity budget of the leopard tortoise, Geochelone pardalis were studied in northern Tanzania between October 1993 and June 1996. Tortoises occurred most frequently in short grass (51.5%) and along roads and track verges (33.9%), but only occasionally in the bush undergrowth (6.7%) and shambas (3.6%). Walking (46.3%) and feeding (37.2%) were the most frequent activities. Resting was observed only occasionally (13.6%) while courtship (1.9%) and drinking (0.9%) were rarely recorded. Activity budget differed significantly between the age classes and habitats, but not between the sexes. Juveniles walked more frequently (59.3%) than other age classes. Walking was most frequent along roads and tracks (68.8%). Adult tortoises rested more frequently (18.7%) than other age classes but the difference was not significant. The proportions of individuals resting in the various habitats differed significantly, with resting being most frequent in the shrub undergrowth (93.3%). Juveniles were observed feeding less frequently than other age classes but the difference was not significant. Feeding was recorded in all habitats, but it was least frequent in the shrub undergrowth.
Tanzania Journal of Science Volume 27 (2001), pp. 87-99