After more than a century, the legendary tortoises of the Galapagos Islands re-hatched in a historic event that marks a new island for the ecosystem that fascinated Charles Darwin, father of the Theory of the Evolution of Species, in the century before last
After more than a century, the legendary tortoises of the Galapagos Islands re-hatched in a historic event that marks a new island for the ecosystem that fascinated Charles Darwin, father of the Theory of the Evolution of Species, in the century before last.
The tortoises, whose scientific name is Chelonoidis nigra, had been almost eradicated by a species of “pirate” rats that arrived in the whaling ships that stopped at Pinzón Island in the 19th century.
A great job!
Being that the rodents ate the eggs of the tortoises, they could not bloom without human intervention, but now that the rats were eradicated thanks to different pest control programs, this species of chelonians could return to bloom in their natural habitat.
It is believed that before man reached the Galapagos Islands in the middle of the 19th century, there were at least 15 different species of giant tortoises, but currently, only 11 of these survive.
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In addition to Chelonoidis nigra, there are other species of birds, insects, and animals that are also cared for by experts with the purpose of preserving the natural wealth of the Galapagos Islands.
Rueda told the local media that now that the challenge of the survival of the Galapagos giant tortoises was overcome, what follows is to ensure that an invasive species does not return to the islands to affect the fragile balance of its ecosystem.
Danny Rueda, chief of ecosystems for the Galapagos National Park of Ecuador, confirmed that after more than a century without being able to be born naturally, the first tortoises came out of their eggs in what he calls “a significant event for the future of the species of the island”.
According to local media, in 1965 the park began a breeding program for 20 tortoises in order to avoid extinction due to the voracity of foreign rats, but now that this species has already been born again on the island, It will not be necessary to monitor them with such attention because nature will take care of them, said the specialist.
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