The new book, “” by Millie Kerr (wildlife journalist) takes readers on an international exploration of innovative conservation initiatives led by passionate conservationists to save some of the most endangered species in the world.
Millie argues strongly for “rewilding,” a radical new approach in wildlife conservation that seeks to prevent the decline of species and to restore whole ecosystems through the repopulation of endangered species.
We are pleased that Iniciativa Galapagos (previously Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative) is highlighted in “”. This partnership between Galapagos Conservancy (GNPD), and Galapagos National Park Directorate, (GNPD), emphasizes the role of Giant Tortoises for the recovery of Galapagos ecosystems.
Millie tells of the 50-person expedition that Washington Tapia, General Director at Conservando Galapagos and partner to Galapagos Conservancy led to find Giant Tortoises of unusual shell shapes. They were specifically looking for saddleback shells in contrast to the domed ones of the native Wolf Volcano. Tapia and his crew collected blood samples of 1,700 tortoises from the expedition. These were then sent to Yale. An analysis of blood samples revealed that the saddleback tortoises that were sighted in the area were a mix of Giant Tortoises and Wolf Volcani. This was many years later. Iniciativa Galapaos may now begin to reintroduce tortoise populations in Floreana, Pinta Islands using the same genetic makeup as centuries past.
Tapia stated, “We are proud to have Iniciativa Galapagos’ work recognized in the new book” and for our work in ecosystem restoration to be considered part of the solution.” Tapia stressed that the GNPD, Galapagos Conservancy and other organizations have been championing breeding giant tortoises and rewilding these Critically Endangered species for years.
Wilder’s success stories in conservation, like the one in Galapagos send a positive message at a critical moment in fighting biodiversity loss.
Galapagos Conservancy President Dr. Paul Salaman stated that “Iniciativa Galapagos is perhaps the most successful rewilding effort for any Critically Endangered species of Earth with a success rate exceeding 90% of young tortoises being repatriated into nature to ensure Giant Tortoises have an fighting chance of survival.”
Galapagos Conservancy has a commitment to the rewilding and conservation of the Galapagos Islands. The archipelago’s ecosystems have been affected by climate change, invasive species and overfishing. These pressing issues are being addressed in our efforts to ensure the long-term health of the Islands. Rewilding Giant Tortoises, the primary terrestrial ecosystem engineers, plays a crucial role.