Galapagos tortoises busy breeding

2013-01-10 20:06
Lonesome George is thought to be the last Pinta Island sub-species of Galapagos tortoise. (AFP)

Lonesome George is thought to be the last Pinta Island sub-species of Galapagos tortoise. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Quito - Breeding season is under way for the endangered tortoises of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, whose mating and nesting habits are carefully watched by wildlife specialists hoping to save them from extinction.

Nesting began last month at Galapagos National Park and will be monitored through June to determine how many female tortoises have prepared nests and how many hatchlings are likely to emerge.

During the peak nesting period, as many as 50 female tortoises can be found preparing nests on the same stretch of beach, said Eduardo Espinoza, a marine biologist at the park.

The Galapagos, located some 1 000km off Ecuador's coast, is an archipelago of 13 islands and more than 100 rocks and micro-islands.

The islands became famous when Charles Darwin visited in 1835 to conduct landmark research that inspired his revolutionary theories on evolution.

In 2007, Unesco declared the island chain's environment endangered due to the increase in tourism and the introduction of invasive species.

Experts estimate there were once some 300 000 giant tortoises on the remote Pacific archipelago, but the population dwindled during the 18th and 19th century after they were hunted by whalers and pirates as fresh food.

The invaders also introduced predators, including rats, which have reduced the tortoise population.

Today, between about 30 000 and 40 000 tortoises remain on the Galapagos, declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1978 because of their unique plant and animal life.

Read more on:    conservation  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Road Accident Fund: #Takecharge to make roads safer

Hot on the heels of its Easter meet the #FutureYou campaign, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) will once again take its road safety message to the public - Sponsored.

 
 

Stay safe

Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
First-aid kit: What you need in YOUR car
Hey, lazy! Get outta the disabled bay!
Yaris: Perfect car for back-seat babes
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You have the chance to inspire, influence and teach today in your own innovative and unique way. Be careful of becoming too fixed...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.