For the first time after more than a hundred years, tortoises were born on the Galápagos Islands. Conservationists have been working for many decades for this to happen, and they couldn’t be happier with the results!
The Galápagos Tortoise
This type of tortoise is native to the Galápagos Islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere west of Ecuador. These islands are most famous for the Charles Darwin’s visit. His visit influenced the development of his Theory of Natural Selection.
This type of tortoise is the largest in the entire world. They might grow up to weigh about 550 pounds and longer than 5 feet. Their average lifespan is more than 100 years, and the oldest tortoise that set the record, lived 152 years.
The Galápagos tortoises are living a very simple and slow life. They nap more than 16 hours of the day, and they love to bask in the sun. Their diet is made of cactus, leaves and grass. Because they have the slowest metabolism, and they can hold certain amounts of water inside them, they can go for about a year without drinking or eating anything.
Threats to Galápagos Tortoises
At the point when Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands in 1831, there were 15 kinds of monster tortoises there. Starting at 2019, as per the IUCN Red List, two are viewed as Extinct, six are Critically Endangered, three are Endangered, and three are Vulnerable. The fifteenth species likely went wiped out during the 1800s. A full example was rarely recuperated, so researchers have not formally named or depicted it.
From the 1600s to the 1800s, whalers, privateers, and vendors slaughtered an expected 100,000 Galápagos tortoises. They utilized them as a nourishment source and later executed them for oil.
Nonnative creature species acquainted with the Galápagos by people have been probably the best danger to mammoth tortoises. Rodents, pigs, and canines execute tortoises and eat their eggs. Also, goats, dairy animals, jackasses, and obtrusive plants have harmed the tortoises’ territory.
Organizations such as the Galápagos Conservancy have been working to keep these giants safe for many decades. Their initiatives included:
- researching and managing interactions between tortoises and humans
- repopulating islands where tortoises have gone extinct
- breeding and raising threatened tortoises
- conducting resources on tortoises and their habitats
Probably the best triumph of the preservation endeavors has been the Galápagos Conservancy’s work to free Pinzón Island of nonnative rodents. Dark rodents were acquainted with the island by boats. For over a century, they uncovered and ate tortoise eggs, preventing the tortoise populace from developing.
In 1986, moderates started to move tortoise eggs from Pinzón to the Santa Cruz Tortoise Center. There, they could bring forth and develop without the danger of the dark rodent.
In 1970, 20 adolescent tortoises came back to Pinzón from the Tortoise Center. Now, they were huge enough to not be helpless against dark rodents. Also, in December 2012, traditionalists totally annihilated dark rodents from Pinzón.
Baby Tortoises Bring Hope
Back in December 2014, baby tortoise hatchlings were seen on Pinzón
for the first time since the late 1800s. ON an excursion to find the baby tortoises, the Galápagos Conservancy has found 10 of them. Since baby tortoises can be very hard to find, they believed that there were a lot more.
By the end of 2017, more than 1,000 juvenile tortoises had returned to
Pinzón. Their presence on the island is giving hope for the future of the Galápagos tortoise.