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A giant Galápagos tortoise inspired biologist Linda Cayot's career conserving the Galápagos Islands. Arturo de Frias Marques / Wikipedia / CC by 3.0

By Jane Braxton Little

Linda J. Cayot's scientific focus for the day was a male giant tortoise, part of her dissertation research on the ecology of these iconic Galápagos reptiles. When her study animal lumbered into a swirling torrent of muddy El Niño waters, the intrepid scientist jumped in, too. Together they banged against rocks, his carapace and her daypack catching on tree branches as they thumped in tandem down the river to the lowlands of Santa Cruz Island.

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Researchers found diverse and colorful cold-water coral communities and associated fauna at 400 m depth. Ocean Exploration Trust / Nautilus Live

International marine scientists have discovered 30 new species in the deep waters off the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, highlighting how unique the ecosystems of the islands are as well as how little we know about the deep sea.

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Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.

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A barge containing 600 gallons of diesel fuel sank off the Galápagos Islands Sunday, prompting fears for the island chain's unique wildlife.

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He may be well over 100 years old, but Diego the Tortoise still has plenty of charm and he's using it to ensure that his species lives on.

The giant Galapagos tortoise has been "working" since the 1960s—when there were only 14 wild tortoises, two of which were male, left on Española—to save his native species from the brink of extinction. And he's doing an impressive job.

Based on recent genetic studies, Diego has single-handedly fathered an estimated 800 offspring—40 percent of the 2,000 captive-bred tortoises that have since been released into the wild.

"He's a very sexually active male reproducer. He's contributed enormously to repopulating the island," tortoise preservation specialist, Washington Tapia, from the Galapagos National Park, told the AFP.

Scientists say Diego is the dominant male of the three assigned to repopulate the island, and weighs about 175 pounds, is nearly 35 inches long and 5 feet tall.

While most of Diego's history remains a mystery, scientists do know he was discovered at the San Diego Zoo in the 1950s. After being located at the zoo, Diego was brought back to the Galapagos in 1976 and put in the captive breeding program, AFP reported. He currently lives at a tortoise breeding center on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos, where he and six females share an enclosure.

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