Commonly known as red-footed tortoise, Chelenoides carbonaria occurs in the country’s dry tropical forests. It has diurnal habits (Castaño-Mora et al. 2015) and is omnivorous. (Castaño-Mora y Lugo-Rugeles 1981, Moskovits y Bjorndal 1990). Its ability to walk long distances makes it a very effective seed dispersal agent (Strong y Fragoso, 2006). It lives in scrubland, savannahs or pastureland near dry forests.

Its main threats are indiscriminate hunting (Castaño-Mora y Medem 2002) and the massive destruction of its habitat due to different factors. It was previously classified as an endangered species at a national level, but due to its presence in better preserved areas than the Caribbean region, it was reclassified in the vulnerable category. (Castaño-Mora et al. 2015). It is currently also listed as vulnerable at a global level.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) y Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) have been carrying out an investigation project in connection with red-footed tortoise populations existing in the dry forest remnants of the Colombian Caribbean region. The purpose of this study is to understand the factors associated with the species’ occupation patterns and identify groups of Chelenoides carbonaria with conservation opportunities.

We have also been working with communities bordering the dry forests to try to understand their relationship with this ecosystem and the tortoises of the region. This initiative is supported by Ecopetrol, the Mario Santo Domingo Foundation, the Senckenberg Dresden Zoology Museum, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the Los Andes University