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190 Giant Tortoises released on Santa Fé

Scientists, rangers and volunteers releasing juvenile Giant tortoises on Santa Fé

Scientists, rangers and volunteers releasing juvenile Giant tortoises on Santa Fé

In the early morning hours of April 17th 2017, a team comprised of Galápagos National Park rangers, Galapagos Conservancy scientists, and volunteers released 190 captive-reared tortoises on the island of Santa Fé. The 190 juvenile tortoises had been reared in captivity. They join a group of 201 tortoises previously released in 2015. 

The original giant tortoises of Santa Fé went extinct more than 150 years ago.  These new inhabitants are the species Chelonoidis hoodensis of Española island. Their introduction to Santa Fé is part of the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative. The tortoises play a vital role in restoring ecosystems as the largest herbivores on the island.  It is hoped that with the introduction of this latest group of tortoises, the island will eventually returned to its natural habitat, much the way it was when Charles Darwin first chronicled his visit to Galápagos.

Guests on INCA's eastern itinerary may have the opportunity to spot and observe these tortoises during their naturalist-guided shore excursion on Santa Fé.

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