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Galapagos Tortoises

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Galapagos Tortoises

Post  whitestarling on Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:15 am

Tortoises released onto Galapagos Island after rats eradicated17/09/2013 13:54:51
September 2013. Eleven Galapagos park rangers hiked for two and a half hours to transport 118 juvenile tortoises (Chelonoidis ephippium) to their release site on Pinzón Island. The Ministry of the Environment, via the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD), carried out this action as part of the ecosystem restoration of Pinzón.

Tortoises driven to extinction by rats
These were the first tortoises repatriated to Pinzón since the November campaign to eradicate black rats (Rattus rattus) from the 1830 hectare island. During the last approximately 150 years, introduced rats had essentially reduced natural recruitment into the tortoise population to zero.

With logistical support from the Guadalupe River, the GNPD's boat, the team of park rangers left Puerto Ayora at 3:00 AM, arriving at Pinzón around 6:00 AM. Following the preparation of the equipment and accommodating the young tortoises in daypacks, the park rangers began their climb to the central crater, each carrying 11 tortoises.

The volcanic terrain of often loose rocks did not impede the park rangers from arriving at the designated release site, located in the highlands and central crater of the island, where there is good tortoise habitat with sufficient vegetation for their survival.

738 tortoises released in total
The giant tortoises are one of the iconic species of Galapagos and form an important part of the insular ecosystems. The repatriation program of the GNPD, releasing tortoises reared in captivity at the park's tortoise centers, has helped to ensure a steady increase in the tortoise populations. To date, the GNPD has repatriated a total of 783 tortoises to Pinzón Island.

WS

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Re: Galapagos Tortoises

Post  Doogs on Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:58 pm

Great effort to save this species by the Park Rangers and The Ministry of the Environment, via the Galapagos National Park Directorate. How affraid that they have been driven to extinction by rats ! pale

tortoises, hope many of you make it cheers
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Re: Galapagos Tortoises

Post  littlewid on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:39 pm

How marvelous is that WS and what an effort by all concerned to release so many tortoises, its a wonderful achievement forconservation, lets hope they all do well, its quite exciting isnt it and I imagine all concerned were extremely delighted to see so many set free.

I never realised Black Rats were the cause of their decline, you learn something every day, which is great.

Fingers crossed for all the 783 tortoises that are now settling into where they should be cheers 

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Re: Galapagos Tortoises

Post  Laikipia on Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:00 am

Wonderful news. We were told about the rat eradication when we visited. It cost many many £££££s but is worth it to safeguard the tortoises.

Lai
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Re: Galapagos Tortoises

Post  Doogs on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:32 pm

I Agree Lai, great that they put up good money to do it Very Happy
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