Replacing recently extinct endemic giant tortoises with extant, functional analogues provide the perhaps best examples of island rewilding to date. Yet, an efficient future application of this conservation action is challenging in an era of climate change. We here present and discuss a conceptual framework that can serve as a roadmap for the study and application of tortoise rewilding in an uncertain future. We focus on three main ecological functions mediated by giant tortoises, namely herbivory, seed dispersal and nutrient cycling, and discuss how climate change is likely to impact these. We then propose and discuss mitigation strategies such as artificial constructed shade sites and water holes that can help drive and maintain the ecosystem functions provided by the tortoises on a landscape scale. The application of the framework and the mitigation strategies are illustrated with examples from both wild and rewilded populations of the Aldabra giant tortoise, Aldabrachelys gigantea, in the Western Indian Ocean.