Sex machine: prolific Galápagos tortoise saves his species | Wildlife

The Galápagos National Park has introduced it’s ending a captive breeding program for big Española tortoises, after one tortoise produced greater than 800 offspring, serving to save the species.

When the breeding program started, simply 15 representatives of the species Chelonoidis hoodensis remained within the wild on the island of Española. Twelve had been feminine and three had been male.

Extinction appeared imminent. But included within the captive breeding program was Diego, an enterprising male on mortgage from the San Diego Zoo.

His inclusion turned out to be pivotal. The breeding program produced 2,000 tortoises, 40% of which had been because of Diego, who’s now greater than 100 years outdated.

“We developed mathematical fashions with completely different potential eventualities for the following 100 years and in all of the conclusion was that the island has ample situations to maintain the tortoise inhabitants that can proceed to develop usually, even with none new repatriation of juveniles,” stated Washington Tapia, director of the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI).

Officials stated the success of this system was additionally because of the eradication of non-native species and the cultivation of cactus on which the tortoises rely.

Once, 15 species of giant tortoise referred to as the Galápagos Islands house. Two of these species are actually thought-about extinct.

According to the GTRI, within the mid-1800s the tortoises served as meals for buccaneers and whalers and had been additionally hunted for oil.

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