Like all species on the island, it has been the result of stealth. Once presumed extinct, the Fernandina Giant Tortoise or Chelonoidis phantasticus, native to the Fernandina island in the Galápagos, has recently resurfaced as of February. Española Island Giant Tortoise- Chelonoidis hoodensis. The Fernandina Tortoise, presumed extinct since 1906, has been rediscovered on a remote volcanic island in the Galapagos, during an Animal Planet funded expedition for the series Extinct or Alive. However, no confirmed live tortoises, or even remains, were found on Fernandina until the … Fernandina is an island on the west of Galapagos and is across the Bolivar Channel from Isabela island. So Tapia thinks, even with her age, the female tortoise has plenty of time to help her species make a comeback.

Prior to this discovery, only one specimen of the Fernandina tortoise Chelonoidis phantasticus had ever been found — a male tortoise collected during the California Academy of Sciences expedition in 1905-06. It has a thick, heavy shell intermediate between saddle-backed and domed, and not appreciably narrowed anteriorly.

The total estimated population of the tortoise is 15 000 (Galapagos , 2014) meaning the population density is ... Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul).

Its eradication in 2012 has allowed the population to grow again, especially thanks to the breeding centers, which have repatriated more than 200 turtles since 2015. Tapia hopes that when the others are found, he can help restore the population of the Fernandina Tortoises and return them to their natural habitat. The tortoises can live to be 200 years old. Find the original here. Although Fernandina is a 642 km 2 island, only about 39–137 km 2 is formed by habitat that can be potentially inhabited by tortoises.. Etymology: The generic name Chelonoidis comes from the Greek word chelone (meaning “tortoise”). Host and leading biologist, Forrest Galante always believed the Fernandina Tortoise may still exist and on February 17th 2019, after 2 days of surveying, his team, including a Galapagos National Park Ranger … While killing tortoises has been a habitual practice in the past, today all efforts on the islands are focused on preserving and restoring the remaining tortoise populations. Population: 1-5 members Status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED Brief Description They're back! The Fernandina Giant Tortoise pops out its head to say "hi." In February 2019, we found a female tortoise that was likely alive when the other tortoise was found, some 112 years ago. Now there is hope its population could return. TIL that the Fernandina giant tortoise, believed to be extinct for over 100 years, was spotted in the Galapagos last year. 5. (CNN) — A species of giant tortoise believed to have been extinct for more than 100 years has been discovered on the Galapagos island of Fernandina, according to Ecuador's government. One species from Española Island was down to just 14 tortoises when breeding efforts began.

Fernandina giant tortoise A Fernandina giant tortoise.

However, an expedition organized by the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI) found an adult female crawling slowly through the island, and she’s believed to be over a century old. Distribution: Chelonoidis phantasticus is endemic to Fernandina Island in Galápagos, Ecuador.

See photos about finding this female tortoise on Fernandina Island below. The Fernandina giant tortoise disappeared more than 100 years ago. The last one was spotted in 1906. An expedition in 1964 discovered putative tortoise droppings, and a fly-over in 2009 reported sightings of something tortoise-like from the air, renewing hope that this species may yet be holding on.

The lone lizard was about one foot long and an estimated four years old, and new expeditions are still being planned in hopes of finding a breeding population of the long-lost lizard. In the Island of Fernandina, the Giant Fernandina tortoise had previously been extinct for over a hundred years.

This population was depleted by seamen in the last 200 years and by extensive slaughter in the late 1950s and 1960s by employees of cattle companies based at Iguana Cove. Its population was decimated by hunting and the introduction of cats into its environment. Males are larger and more saddle-backed; females are more domed. Back from extinction! Fernandina was named in honour of King Ferdinand of Spain, who, with his wife Queen Isabella of Spain, sponsored the first voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Now, the population has reached over 1,000. The Fernandina Giant Tortoise is one of 14 giant tortoise species native to the Galapagos, of which ten species survive today.