Conservationists Have Released 136 Juvenile Galápagos Tortoises Into the Wild

The Galápagos are known as one of the most incredible natural environments on Earth. Full of rich flora and fauna, conservationists are particularly interested in preserving the incredible species found there. Among the most famous are the giant tortoises which roam the islands. These sweet, slow-moving creatures come in 13 species indigenous to the island and can live extremely long lives. Since only 15,000 across these species roam wild today, breeding programs are used to preserve these iconic reptiles. Recently, conservationists celebrated a success with the release of 136 juvenile tortoises into the wild.

The tortoises were bred at the Arnaldo Tupiza Chamaidan Breeding and Rearing Center on Isabela Island. Their health was top priority and each animal was chipped for tracking. Having reached ages between 5 and 9 years old, these young ones are ready to take their first step into the wild. The cohort of 136 tortoises were not easy to transport. A helicopter and giant net was used to delicately transport the heavy passengers to the Cerro Azul volcano's slopes on Isabela Island. Volunteers freed the youths, allowing them to establish new lives in the wild.

The tortoises play a critical role in the local ecosystem. They chomp on plants and keep growth in check, while also transporting seeds around the island. Dr. Jorge Carrión, director of conservation at Galápagos Conservancy, noted in a statement, “[W]e need to remain vigilant because this species is under threat from invasive species. Therefore, we will continue to closely monitor the situation.” The tortoises are prepared for their new lives, and tracking them will help keep a close eye on this magnificent and vital species.

Conservationists have accomplished a historic win in the Galápagos by successfully releasing 136 juvenile tortoises into the wild.

The tortoises play a vital role in the environment and will be watched closely to make sure they remain safe.

Galápagos Conservancy: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Galápagos Conservancy.

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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