Hunting by whalers and others took a steep toll on the giant tortoises and their numbers plunged, with five of fifteen subspecies becoming eradicated. Breeding programmes have however led to a recovery, and Galapagos giant tortoises now number close to 20,000. Rats and feral cats and dogs still pose a threat to nests, attacking eggs and freshly hatched tortoises. Young tortoises are therefore kept until they have grown large enough to be safely released into the wild. Inside the Galapagos National Park, visitors can see them at Urbina Bay on the Western Islands itineraries; they can also be seen in their natural habitat in the highlands of Santa Cruz and also at breeding centres in Puerto Ayora and at Cerro Colorado on San Cristóbal.
Share Galapagos BIG15 with your friends:
Click on the Image to Navigate