To signal the recovery process of the ecosystem in the Galapagos is the presence of some endemic species that are slowly resurfacing: giant turtles, Opuntia insularis cactus and some species of birds believed to be endangered. The growing number of these animals on Isabela Island, one of the largest belonging to the Galapagos Islands, is rekindling hopes among researchers.
Specifically, the purpose of the Giant Turtle Restoration Initiative is precisely to restore the population of giant turtles in their natural habitat (the Galapagos and also in those islands where they have been declared extinct) and in their original number of specimens.
As an integral part of its program, the Giant Turtle Restoration Initiative organized an expedition lasting 10 days, in which 30 park scientists and rangers they sifted 200 square kilometers of vegetation on Darwin volcano, on the island of Isabela. Here, the researchers found, and reported with a microchip, 1150 turtles; the previous estimate reported the presence of approx 400 turtles – a figure that had rightfully put it in the list of endangered animals.
“We believe that the giant turtle population is healthy and includes up to a number of 2000 individuals, of which 40% are female and 60% male. From a reproductive point of view, these data seem to confirm the good news.
The final results of this census will provide information that will enable management decisions to be made to ensure the conservation of the site’s native and endemic species, “said Jorge Carrión, director of the Galapagos National Park.