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Iguanas that disappeared a century ago are breeding again in the Galapagos

Iguanas that disappeared a century ago are breeding again in the Galapagos

The Ecuadorean Ministry of Environment announced Monday that a wild iguana that disappeared more than a century ago from one of the Galapagos Islands is breeding naturally after being reintroduced.

The disappearance of reptiles of the species Conolophus subcristatus at the beginning of the twentieth century on the island of Santiago, one of the three terrestrial iguanas inhabiting the archipelago, was observed by the expedition of the California Academy of Sciences in 1903-06, the ministry said.

In 2019, the Galapagos National Park Authority (PNG) reintroduced more than 3,000 iguanas from a nearby island to restore the natural ecosystem of Santiago, located in the middle of the Pacific archipelago.

This chain of isolated islands was made famous by the observations of British geologist and naturalist Charles Darwin who in 1835 recorded a large number of iguanas of all ages on Santiago.

For PNG Director Danny Rueda, “After 187 years, we are once again seeing a healthy population of wild iguanas with adults, juveniles and young. This is a major conservation achievement and reinforces our hopes for reintroduction.”

Located approximately 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are home to unique flora and fauna and are listed as World Natural Heritage Sites.

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