The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

pdf 03. Habitat association of the tortoises Geochelone pardalis and Kinixys spekii in the Sengwa wildlife research area, Zimbabwe


Open Access


Authors: Adrian Hailey And Ian M. Coulson

Abstract: There have been few studies of the mechanism of niche separation in sympatric tortoises. This paper examines the habitat association of Geochelone pardalis and Kinixys spekii at the Sengwa Wildlife Research Area, using data on 460 tortoises marked from 1 982 to 1 992. Tortoises were found in most of the vegetation types present. Habitat niche breadth was slightly greater in G. pardalis (B=0.48) than in K. spekii (B=0.36). There was considerable niche overlap between the two species (0=0.76), the only major difference being the greater use of riverine grassland by G. pardalis. Home range areas of individuals recaptured in several years were significantly larger in G. pardalis (mean 26 ha) than in K. spekii (mean 3.1 ha). The pattern of refuge use differed between the two species; K. spekii used burrows, and G. pardalis used thickets and felled trees.

Download Access:

The latest 8 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy


Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.