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Captive-bred tortoises returned to Santiago Island

December 2, 2015

GNPD releasing tortoises on Santiago

This week, rangers from the Galapagos National Park Directorate returned a group of 140 giant tortoises raised at the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center to their natural habitat on Santiago Island. The tortoises are between the ages of three and four years old and are of the species Chelonoidis darwini.

“Santiago Island has ideal conditions for young tortoises this time of year because of the abundance of water and food. Gradually they will adapt to their new home,” said Freddy Villalva, the Park ranger overseeing the activity.

Once on site, the rangers also roamed the area in search of tortoise nests to proceed with the collection of eggs or hatchlings hatched in the wild. In total, they found 19 nests, from which they removed 63 tortoises and 30 eggs, which were transferred to the Breeding Center back on Santa Cruz. This tortoise breeding program has prevented the extinction of various species that inhabit the Archipelago.

Translated with permission from the Galapagos National Park Directorate.

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