The giant tortoise from Fernandina Island in the Galapagos Archipelago has been extinct for more than 100 years. After researchers discovered a sample of a large reptile two years ago, genetic analyzes at Yale University in the USA have now confirmed that it was Chelonoidis phantasticus. The Ecuadorian Environment Ministry announced this on Wednesday evening (local time).
“There is no doubt that this discovery renews our hope of bringing these species back to life,” said Danny Rueda, director of the Galapagos Islands National Park. In the second half of 2021, rangers and researchers are planning an expedition to Fernandina Island to search for more turtle specimens.
One of the Galapagos Islands’ greatest secrets has always been the giant tortoise from Fernandina Island. James Gibbs, a turtle expert at SUNY, said the rediscovery of this lost species may have happened in time to save him. “Now we urgently need to keep looking and find more turtles.” (SDA)
Publication date: May 27, 2021, 1:08 pm
Last update: May 27, 2021, 5:23 pm
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