Saturday, 5 June 2021

For A Group Of Islands That Has Been Studied So Much,

I am surprised that species thought to be extinct are still being 'rediscovered',

like this one, the only specimen of Chelonoidis phantasticus that we know of, (Photo Credit: Rodrigo Buenida/AFP via Getty Images), tests carried out in May 2021 have confirmed that the tortoise is part of the species Chelonoidis phantasticus, which was thought to be extinct, the last time a confirmed sighting of the species was registered was in 1906, the group that made the discovery consisted of Washington Tapia and a team of four rangers from the Galápagos National Park—Jeffreys Malaga, Eduardo Vilema, Roberto Ballesteros, and Simon Villamar—plus Forrest Galante, a host and biologist with Animal Planet, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had flagged the Fernandina giant tortoise on its Red List as possibly extinct until 2017, two years after Malaga came across the reptile's feces in the park and three years after the inauguration of the GTRI. Its designation was then changed to critically endangered, so when Washington Tapia found a Fernandina giant tortoise on its namesake island in the Galápagos, it was like winning an Academy Award, "For me it was the most important achievement of my life because I have been working on tortoise conservation for 30 years," says the director of the nonprofit Galápagos Conservancy's Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI) and leader of the expedition. "This was basically my Oscar." for myself it still amazing that the group of islands that has been so well studied and documented still has its secrets!

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