For as long as humans have been on them, the Galapagos Islands have been a classroom of scientific discovery. It was the place that helped Charles Darwin formulate the theory of evolution and its isolation allowed the animals to develop with no in-built fear of humankind. This is despite the fact that humans hunted the giant land tortoises, amongst other species, for their meat during early colonial times.
The Galapagos Islands comprise one large national park and the Ecuadorian government is working hard to ensure the survival of the remaining species that inhabit this archipelago. Rules and regulations are strict but, sadly, many of these said rules and regulations came too late for some species, one being the Fernandina Giant Tortoise, which was thought to have gone extinct over 100 years ago.
But hope does prevail; a recent sighting of the thought-to-be-extinct tortoise came during an expedition to the island of Fernandina in the western Ecuadorian region of the archipelago.
According to a recent Daily Mail report, “The tortoise was found by members of the Galapagos National Park and the US NGO Galapagos Conservancy. The Fernandina Giant Tortoise is one of 14 giant tortoise species in the Galapagos, but only ten are thought to have survived human colonization and over-hunting for food. The female has a large body, smooth shell and a pink head but no other details have been revealed.”
This is great news not only for conservationists and for the tortoise herself, but also for the many people who flock (pun intended) to the Galapagos Islands to see firsthand the vast array of bird life, reptiles, and now, one more member of the Galapagos Giant Tortoise family.
Goway has a wide selection of vessels and itinerary choices for the Galapagos Islands starting at 4 days from $2797US / $3706CA.