Park Rangers Release 840 Tortoise Hatchlings from Natural Nests

In March and April of this year, rangers with the Galápagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) have released 840 tortoise hatchlings from their natural nests in five areas on Santa Cruz Island as part of annual monitoring activities supported by Galápagos Conservancy.

Park rangers must scour areas daily where previously identified nests were located and dig to help tortoise hatchlings reach the surface. A total of 302 nests were checked, and rangers determined that 268 had left on their own while 193 died inside the nest (in addition to the 840 they helped to leave their nests).

Park rangers also carried out control activities for introduced species, such as pigs and ants, which can harm the nesting and hatching process of giant tortoises in the wild.

Photo © GNPD