July 1, 2017
A technical team from the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) recently traveled to the summit of Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island to collect data on the health status of the rare, endemic pink land iguanas there — the only population of pink iguanas in the world. The team was able to monitor and examine 55 individuals, which share habitat with the more common yellow land iguanas.
The GNPD plans to place tracking devices on several pink iguanas in order to identify their migration routes, nesting times, places of convergence with other iguanas and more — information that will be key to initiating a captive breeding program.
“We hope that the antennas will be placed at strategic points in December that will allow us to receive the signal from the transmitting devices. When we have the information of the sites where they nest, we can replicate their conditions and start a captive breeding program,” said Jorge Carrión, the GNPD’s Director of Environmental Management.
An important outcome from the monitoring trip was finding three adult pink iguanas that had not been recorded on past monitoring trips, which has generated expectations among the scientific community that more individuals will be found. It is estimated that the population of pink iguanas on Isabela Island is currently around 300 individuals.