For The First Time In Over 100 Years They Find Baby Turtles In The Galapagos Islands



After more than a century without a single sighting of baby turtles on Pinzón Island in the Galapagos Islands, we have seen a small group of young.

Galapagos tortoises have been considered among the most threatened animals in the Galapagos. But new research suggests that there are now more than 500 that are estimated to currently live on the island, after a major conservation and repopulation effort has been successful.

The turtles, of which at least 300 have been seen, were first seen by researcher James Gibbs, who said that 10 of them were offspring.

James told The Dodo:
"I'm surprised the turtles have given us the opportunity to make up for our mistakes after so much time."

They find baby turtles for the first time in 100 years in the Galápagos



Recent births help to remove these animals from critical danger of extinction after they were almost destroyed as a result of human activity

James Gibbs

When the sailors landed for the first time on Pinzón Island in the mid-eighteenth century, they inadvertently triggered an environmental catastrophe that generations were slow to correct. The rats aboard the first boats quickly established themselves in the fragile ecosystem, according to records, and began to delight in the eggs and hatchlings of the island's turtles that, until then, had few natural predators.

 Turtle breeding

The human-powered rat invasion was so devastating to the turtle population that during the following decades not a single baby survived, which put the species on the road to extinction.

But conservation efforts, developed in the 1960s when the turtle population had been reduced to less than 100, eradicated the rat population in Pinzón.

 Galápago tortoise

Conservationists found few whole eggs that were collected and incubated on a nearby island.

The turtles are reproducing again in the Galapagos Islands
The turtles were incubated and reared for five years until they were large enough not to be attacked by rats before being released back into Pinzón, but the rats still persevered.


James Gibbs

In 2012, biologists used helicopters to distribute poison designed to kill rats, and it worked; Pinzón was recently declared free of rats.

James said:
"The incredible eradication of rats on this island, carried out by the park service and others, has created the opportunity for turtles to reproduce for the first time."
James and his team detected 300 turtles in total on the trip, which, he says, suggests that there are now more than 500 estimated to currently live on the island.

 Turtle had 800 pups
Photo: Diego | San Diego Zoo / Youtube

The large population of giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands has much to thank Diego, a turtle that is more than 100 years old and removed its species from the danger of extinction by capturing 800 offspring in captivity.

30 comments:

  1. Absolutely amazing & humans have finally corrected a mistake. Heartening.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes, turtles and tortoises are NOT the same thing.

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    2. Definitely tortoises but the terms are interchangeable on the islands. I'm lucky enough to have just bern there and alk guides and centres use tortuga for both animals.

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    3. All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. Seriously.

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    4. Googaly Mooglay is correct. Turtles are classified as members of kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Reptilia, and order Testudines. There are thirteen families in the order and more than 356 species. The families of turtles include the leatherback sea turtles, soft-shelled turtles, snapping turtles, and tortoises among others. The origin of turtles date back 220 million years ago making them older than both crocodiles and snakes. Unfortunately, most of the remaining species are considered highly endangered.

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    5. All tortoises are turtles. Not all turtles are tortoises. To be precise.

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  3. This is absolutely wonderful! I am so glad they got rid of the rats !

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  4. I love turtles and tortoises, I am so proud to know we are helping them come off of the endangered species list . Great to fix a mistake made many years ago !

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  5. Thanks for sharing this article here about the galapagos islands vacation tours. Your article is very informative and I will share it with my other friends as the information is really very useful. Keep sharing your excellent work.

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  6. I live in Florida where the Gopher Tortoises are protected wildlife ! They are amazing creatures ! We lived on 10 acres & got to witness their natural behaviors & as an animal behaviorist of 30 years , they sure had a unique way of survival !

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  7. And how about the Female tortoise that layed those eggs??! Diego didn't do it by HIMSELF!! Why is all the credit always given to the male? I'm glad for the species recovery, but seriously!? Just sayin, how bout publishing and giving "much credit" to both parents?

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  8. Males of this species are very rare 1 in 500 or more not to mention the many female mothers would take more time and words the artical likely was capable of having due to editors keeping things short for modern humans weak attention spans. Further more Diego was until he bore sons the last male of this tortoise species female tortoises lay eggs on the regular much like a period. Not saying the females dont deserve credit just theres a bunch of them and being that they have been born and raised wild unlike Diego who was a pet they dont have names. Not trying to sound or defend sexism just explaining the multiple reasons the mothers are not named in the artical.

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    1. I think YOU need an editor. Your comment was pretty much an incoherent run-on paragraph that left me even more confused the second time trying to read it.

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    2. I had no trouble reading and comprehending, Nixon. Perhaps it is you that needs a bit more practice reading. I recommend novels that contain dialect, and poems without punctuation. Zigmydig's comments made perfect sense to me.

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  9. Hilarious... was thinking the exact same thing! I always tell people they are NOT the same. I have 2 Russian tortoises... Will NOT have a turtle. I think of turtle, I think of water...

    I think of my beloved tortoises... water?... nope... primarily water from food :)

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. The author of this article uses the words 'Tortoise' and 'Turtle' interchangeably. Get it right! Land is Tortoise. Water is Turtle.

    Besides that, awesome news!

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  12. Turtles & tortoises are NOT the same and the names aren’t interchangeable.. One would think that an article being distributed by thescienceandspace.com would be factually correct, and someone there would have noticed this glaring error and corrected by now.

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    1. All tortoise are turtles. Not all turtles are totoise.

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  13. Now to keep tourists off the island !

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  14. Wonderful! Can't tell if they know they have the Pinzon variety back on Pinzon. I remember that they used to be breeding close relatives to various varieties because the one or more true varieties had become extinct.

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  15. I'd love to visit. I think my pet rats would enjoy that vacation spot!

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  16. All of the hope for the world I felt from this was wiped out by a website called "the science and space" using the words tortoise and turtle interchangeably. 🙄 They are completely different species guys. They can't even breed. Smh

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  17. After the rats, now it's time to remove the humans from the islands.. 😂

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