It’s easy to see how the Endangered Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata) gets its name. This unique species is in decline due to the use of its shell in traditional Chinese medicine. The Turtle Conservancy works to mitigate the trade in species like this, along with our captive breeding efforts.
Its pretty clear.. though I might have called you 6 eyed sally!
by NY Times staff
Giant Galápagos tortoises, the world’s biggest, have had it rough. Thanks to pirates and whalers eating them and to non-native species like goats destroying their habitat, four of the 14 documented species are extinct. Most recently, the Pinta species vanished with the 2012 death of Lonesome George, after decades of attempts to get him to reproduce.
But the tortoises emerging from the crates above represent a milestone in tortoise restoration efforts. They are among 201 tortoises recently released onto Santa Fe Island, which lost its tortoise species a century and a half ago.
We wanted to do this for a long time,” said Linda Cayot, the science adviser for the Galápagos Conservancy, which, in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate, runs the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative. It wasn’t easy. Without any Santa Fe tortoises left (nobody alive now has actually seen them – their existence is known mainly from whalers’ logbooks and museum-preserved bone fragments), conservationists turned to a close genetic relative: tortoises from Española Island…
(read more: NY Times – Science)
photograph by Galapagos Conservancy
JET SETTERS! (without the jets)
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is celebrating a conservation milestone; for the first time, a rare Spider Tortoise has hatched in the Reptile Discovery Center. Animal care staff are closely monitoring the hatchling, which emerged May 10 in an off-exhibit area.
Spider Tortoises are listed as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Native to the forests and sandy coastlines of Madagascar, their populations have declined by 80 percent since 1970, and populations continue to dwindle due to habitat loss and wildlife trafficking for the food and pet trade.
Follow the link to ZooBorns, to learn more.
Photo Credits: Connor Mallon at Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
INCREDIBLE NEWS! And an INCREDIBLE shell! Go #SpiderTort Go!
I Imagineered myself a redic tortoise habitat. I’ll be trying to make this nutty thing over the weekend before my new family members arrive on Tuesday.
thats amazing! Human is obsessed with those hairpin table legs.