For The First Time In 100 Years, Baby Tortoises Appear On The Galapagos Islands


All species are important, and maintaining the balance of the number of species is what keeps this world alive. We need to try to take care of nature and the endangered species because the flora and fauna work together in keeping nature’s harmony.

All living creatures are linked to one another so preservation of endangered species is very important. If one species goes extinct it might affect some other ones to die out as well.

The main goal of scientists that work on the preservation of species is to make sure the natural habitat of these animals is safe so that every living thing that thrives there can be protected.

Until the 18th century, the amazing tortoises of the island of Galapagos could be found in large numbers, but due to a rat infestation from a foreign ship, their numbers plummeted.

The rats were an invasive species that ate the tortoises’ eggs among the other species’ eggs. So their invasion broke nature’s harmony which led to horrible losses.

The tortoises already had some predators on the island, and with the addition of the rat’s problem, they became an endangered species. So to keep the species alive, scientists took the tortoises in captivity to breed them. There weren’t any tortoises on the Galapagos island for around 100 years.

The efforts of the scientists, however, were very successful and over 500 tortoises were bred during this time in Pinzon.

After almost two centuries, in 2012 all the rats were eradicated from the island using rat poison, and since then the number of tortoises has been rising steadily. The Galapagos National Park Directorate said that the island was free from the invasive rats after a year of observing the situation.

Other tortoise conservation efforts started in 1960 when a group of scientists collected the eggs from the Galapagos tortoises and moved them to another island to be hatched. After 5 years of growth, the young tortoises were powerful enough to defend themselves back and they were returned to their island. The rats still ate the tortoises’ eggs and caused problems, but when they were destroyed the tortoises started to thrive once again.

A researcher from the State University of New York, James Gibbs, worked together with the Galapagos Conservancy to help with the tortoise situation, and about it, he said:

In 2014, he arrived on the island together with his team, and while walking on the path in the first part of the island they noticed 10 young baby tortoises roaming around. Their discovery was very important because it was proof that the natural order on the island is slowly returning.

About their discovery, Professor James Gibbs explained:

As of right now, it is estimated that the number of tortoises has risen to five hundred. So Professor Gibbs and his team consider the case of trying to save and restore the Galapagos tortoises a great success for the Galapagos National Park Service and all those who collaborated.

Source: Galapagos, Galapagos, The Hearty Soul


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