Radio-tracking studies of African tortoises have elucidated differences in spatial ecology in differing habitats. Our study aimed to demonstrate such patterns by radio tracking the Leopard Tortoise Stigmochelys pardalis in a subtropical savanna, northeast Swaziland. Activity of tracked tortoises was correlated with minimum temperatures and greater in the warm wet months compared with the cool, dry months. All tracked tortoises, however, remained active throughout the cool months, and none were observed entering a burrow or any other hibernaculum. The tortoises typically moved 0–89 m per day, with maximum daily movement of over 300 m. A dry river bed and game viewing road did not appear to obstruct the movement of the tortoises.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2