Galapagos Conservancy, in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate and to celebrate World Turtle Day on May 23rd, is working to protect and conserve Galapagos Giant Tortoises. Both organizations collaborate through the Initiative Galapagos to restore ecosystems and ensure the survival of these fascinating creatures.
The nonprofit American Tortoise Rescue established World Turtle Day in 2000 to promote global awareness of the importance and threats to turtles and tortoises, and to encourage conservation efforts. The IUCN Red List classifies the Galapagos Giant Tortoise as Endangered, Critically Endangered, or Critically Threatened due to a variety of factors.
Washington Tapia is the General Director of Galapagos Conservancy. He pointed out that historically, Galapagos giant tortoises were hunted for their oil and meat, resulting in a dramatic decrease in population. Their vulnerability has been further increased by habitat degradation, invasive species and illegal trafficking. Tapia said that it is important to take immediate measures to protect and preserve these species. This will ensure the maintenance of ecological integrity in the ecosystems where they live and promote greater awareness about their importance to ecosystems.
The Iniciativa Galapagos Program has made significant progress in conserving the Giant Tortoise by restoring the native ecosystems of islands and the Giant Tortoise. Some of the notable achievements are the protection of nesting areas and the optimization of captive breeding programs.
Galapagos Conservancy takes pride in focusing its conservation efforts to these majestic creatures across the Archipelago, and being part of one the most successful restoration program around the world. Iniciativa Galápagos shows how public-private collaboration can have a positive impact on the conservation of threatened species. Tapia said that “our commitment” is to protect and preserve these amazing reptiles every day.