GIANT TORTOISE RESTORATION INITIATIVE
What’s in news?
The Galapagos National Park called off the captive breeding programme as the population of the tortoise has gone up.
- Diego, a member of the Chelonoidis hoodensis, or the giant tortoise species has retired.
- In the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI) in the Galapagos National Park, Diego is responsible for about 40 per cent of the offspring
- Population: The population of the Galápagos Tortoise was raised from 15 to 2000 because of the captive breeding programme.
- GTRI is a captive breeding programme started since 1976.
- Other male tortoises:
- E5, a less charismatic male tortoise has generated the remaining population of tortoises about 60 per cent.
- E3, another male has not yet done anything for the population rise.
- Special about Diego: More than a prolific male tortoise in the park, it is far more famous than E5 because of his ‘personality’ – loud, aggressive, and demonstrative.
Reason for declining its population:
Following are the threat associated with the declining of the tortoise’s population;
- In 1800s, the tortoises on the Galápagos Islands was an excellent source of food for seafarers.
- Feral goats– destroys the habitat in competing for food.
About Galápagos Tortoise:
- Common Name: Galápagos Tortoise
- Scientific Name: Chelonoidis nigra
- Distribution: The Galápagos tortoises are native to seven of the Galápagos Islands, part of Ecuador, located about 1,000 km west of the Ecuadorian mainland.
- Average Life Span: The average lifespan in the wild is over 100 years – one of the longest-lived vertebrates. The oldest on record lived to be 152.
- Weight:Modern Galápagos tortoises can weigh up to 417 kg.
- Length: The length of the tortoises can exceed 5 feet in length
- IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable.
- It is listed on Appendix I of the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora”.
Galápagos National Park:
- Established year: The park was established on 1959.
- The park is located in Ecuador’s – the country’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The year 1979: UNESCO declared the Galápagos Islands Natural Heritage for Humanity.
Links to note: