The west coast of South Africa erupts into an amazing display of colour during the spring flower season. To preserve the spectacular wildflowers and fragile ecosystem, public access to the Postberg area of the West Coast National Park is restricted to only two months a year. This protected region attracts several types of wildlife, including this Angulate Tortoise that decided to stop and sample the flowers.
2011 was declared Year of the Turtle in order to raise awareness about the threats posed to wild populations of turtles and tortoises. Habitat destruction is just one of the many threats to these long-lived reptiles. Turtles have a long evolutionary history that dates back to the age of dinosaurs, about 220 million years ago. It is appalling how quickly their numbers are decreasing because of human encroachment and exploitation.
This photo of an Angulate Tortoise was included in the Year of the Turtle calendar for the month of July.
Location: West Coast National Park, South Africa. 2009.