La Réunion Giant Tortoise, Cylindraspis indica, was an endemic species of the island. Particularly abundant at the beginning of the 18th century, its overexploitation by man led to its extinction in the middle of the 19th century, around 1840.
The fossil remains discovered until now and the ancient testimonies indicate that this tortoise was scattered on the North- western coast, the western one, the southwest and the south of La Réunion. They were plentiful in the low and dry regions of the west coast, the “leeward” coast.
Like the other giant tortoises of the Mascareignes, the Réunion Giant Tortoise undoubtedly had an important ecological role in the ecosystems of La Réunion: this large herbivore participated indeed in the dispersal of the seeds and by grazing, applied a strong selective pressure on the communities of native plants.
Source : (Schneider, 1783) ; (AUSTIN & ARNOLD, 2001; AUSTINet al.,2002) ; (BOUR, 1981 ; PROBST & BRIAL, 2002) ; (LOUGNON, 1970 ; BOUR, 1981 ; PROBST & BRIAL, 2002 ; CHEKE & HUME, 2008) ; (CHEKE & HUME, 2008 ; GRIFFITH et al., 2010) ;