Iguanas reintroduced to Galapagos island after 200 years

The last person to officially record seeing a land iguana on Santiago Island in the Galapagos was Charles Da...

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 3:08 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 3:08 PM

The last person to officially record seeing a land iguana on Santiago Island in the Galapagos was Charles Darwin in 1835. After that, iguanas were erased from the island, wiped out by invasive predators like the feral pig.

But now, 184 years later, the lizards have made a return, thanks to an initiative by the Galapagos National Park authority. More than 1,400 land iguanas, scientific name Conolophus subcristatus, were taken from the neighboring North Seymour Island and released on Santiago Island between January 3 and 4.

Animals

Continents and regions

Destinations and attractions

Ecuador

Environment and natural resources

Galapagos Islands

Islands and reefs

Landforms and ecosystems

Latin America

Life forms

Natural wonders

Points of interest

Reptiles and amphibians

South America

The Americas

Chile

Santiago

Mammals

Pigs

They were introduced to the coastal regions Puerto Nuevo and Bucanero, authorities said in a statement, which have ecosystems that closely mimic their former home.

The new iguanas needn't fear their old nemeses: the last feral pig was eradicated on Santiago Island in 2000 as part of the Galapagos Conservancy's Project Isabela, and the island was proclaimed officially pig-free in 2004.

On Twitter, Galápagos National Park Director Jorge Carrión called the reintroduction of the iguanas "great news for #Galápagos, for #Ecuador and the world."

According to the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the land iguana population of the archipelago suffered a significant decline after the introduction of species like cats, rats and dogs, as well as the predatory feral pig. These species prey on young iguanas and eggs -- though some cats have targeted adult iguanas up to four years old, says the trust -- and also compete with the lizards for food.

The reintroduction initiative, carried out alongside New Zealand's Massey University, was developed in response to the depletion of vegetation like the cactus on North Seymour Island, threatening the some 5,000 iguanas' food source.

Some iguanas have remained on North Seymour Island to avoid compromising its existing vegetation. Galapagos ecosystems director Danny Rueda explained: "The land iguana is a herbivore that helps ecosystems by dispersing seeds and maintaining open areas free from vegetation."

Authorities will continue to monitor the Santiago Island iguanas, determining whether they're creating nests and finding sufficient food. They'll also keep a close eye on newer species like rodents and ants to prevent them disturbing the iguanas' nests.

Terre Haute
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 30°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 31°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 27°
Paris
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 22°
Mattoon/Charleston
Clear
29° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 23°
Terre Haute
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 30°
Terre Haute
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 30°
Clearer Sky
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

All You Need to Know for Tuesday

Image

Tuesday: Clouds move out, cold. High: 36

Image

Tyreke Key moves into Top 10

Image

IHSAA Moves Boys State

Image

GBB North Central Orleans

Image

Tracking light snow - how long will it stick around?

Image

How you can avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Image

NAACP installs new committee members during Monday meeting

Image

West Terre Haute armed robbery under investigation

Image

Marshall, Illinois town meeting

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1072214

Reported Deaths: 20118
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4343419046
DuPage689701151
Will58209870
Lake53227886
Kane45873676
Winnebago26265407
Madison24262463
St. Clair22191426
McHenry21591248
Champaign1539099
Peoria14966239
Sangamon14477234
McLean13170159
Tazewell11885245
Rock Island11860302
Kankakee11465179
Kendall966678
LaSalle9427247
Macon8794179
Vermilion7470112
DeKalb743792
Adams7337117
Williamson6166116
Boone553277
Whiteside5250173
Clinton500685
Coles469880
Ogle458971
Knox4579141
Grundy435954
Effingham430668
Jackson416867
Henry400776
Marion3970111
Franklin382969
Macoupin382694
Randolph371468
Livingston363566
Monroe356170
Stephenson352474
Jefferson3421104
Morgan325289
Woodford318766
Logan308356
Montgomery303841
Lee303172
Bureau299784
Christian297973
Fayette290653
Perry266560
Iroquois258756
Fulton255349
Jersey220656
Lawrence217230
McDonough214451
Saline202153
Douglas198733
Union197332
Shelby196435
Crawford175534
Cass174831
Bond173524
Warren158244
Pike154246
Richland153544
Wayne151143
Jo Daviess148224
Hancock147634
Clark147430
Washington144625
Edgar143253
Carroll142633
Ford138049
Moultrie137028
White133130
Clay130939
Greene125442
Johnson121015
Wabash117214
Mercer117029
Piatt116816
Mason116340
De Witt113927
Cumberland107927
Jasper103815
Massac101831
Menard87110
Hamilton71617
Marshall66413
Schuyler61916
Pulaski6103
Brown60811
Stark49320
Edwards4609
Henderson45216
Calhoun4384
Alexander3897
Gallatin3864
Scott3751
Putnam3462
Hardin3028
Pope2462
Unassigned990
Out of IL370

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 592709

Reported Deaths: 9340
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion818931301
Lake44495668
Allen32035543
Hamilton28533305
St. Joseph26847372
Elkhart24132341
Vanderburgh18759213
Tippecanoe17482122
Johnson14583285
Porter14464160
Hendricks13931242
Madison10600213
Vigo10513174
Clark10300132
Monroe9109108
Delaware8861133
LaPorte8825155
Howard7916138
Kosciusko788877
Warrick648290
Hancock642597
Bartholomew629294
Floyd6184105
Wayne5956157
Grant5848110
Dubois546172
Boone536367
Morgan519491
Henry496164
Marshall494984
Cass473160
Noble462157
Dearborn461344
Jackson416145
Shelby404279
Lawrence382075
Clinton366340
Gibson357856
DeKalb338563
Montgomery336651
Harrison332642
Knox328239
Miami311243
Steuben308742
Adams296535
Whitley295525
Wabash293945
Ripley293745
Putnam286847
Huntington285058
Jasper284434
White268438
Daviess262172
Jefferson253138
Decatur242882
Fayette242448
Greene235660
Posey232826
Wells230147
LaGrange224761
Clay218732
Scott217337
Randolph209041
Jennings193235
Sullivan189331
Spencer182717
Fountain180425
Washington178218
Starke172041
Jay163122
Fulton160230
Owen160137
Carroll153015
Orange152133
Rush150818
Perry148727
Vermillion145533
Franklin143833
Parke12908
Tipton128432
Pike114125
Blackford108022
Pulaski95137
Newton89721
Brown85730
Benton84510
Crawford7669
Martin70413
Warren6607
Switzerland6235
Union6145
Ohio4707
Unassigned0374