Two years ago today, the world lost Lonesome George — the last known Pinta Island tortoise, who had become a global icon for conservation. The story of Lonesome George continues to inspire the vital work of protecting and rebuilding giant tortoise populations across Galapagos through the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative, a 10-year collaborative effort that builds on the successful tortoise breeding and repatriation program.
Beginning in September, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City will feature a 3-month exhibit on the legacy of Lonesome George and what his loss taught the conservation world. Lonesome George’s body has been preserved and will be on display. In honor of the exhibit, the Museum will feature a panel discussion titled Lonesome George and the Galapagos Today: What the Tortoise Taught Us on September 18, 2014, to launch the exhibit.
The panel discussion will include remarks from GC President Johannah Barry and Science Advisor Linda Cayot, Galapagos National Park Director Arturo Izurieta, and James Gibbs of the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Eleanor Sterling, chief conservation scientist of the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
Today, we honor the memory of Lonesome George and remember the truth in the words inscribed outside his former enclosure in Galapagos:
Whatever happens to this single animal, let him always remind us that the fate of all living things on Earth is in human hands.