~ by Oscar Brenes
The Galapagos, an archipelago belonging to Ecuador, famous islands for the unique wildlife that inhabits it, are the basis for the study of the evolution of species by Charles Darwin.
One of the iconic animals of the islands is the giant turtle, which is the largest turtle in the world (up to 140 cm long and 200 kg in weight) and it is the long-lived terrestrial vertebrate (more than 100 years). Fourteen species of giant turtle inhabited the islands, of which 4 are extinct now. The last to disappear was Chelonidis abingdonii from Pinta Island that ending with the death of Lonesome George.
After much waiting and failed attempts in 2015, the incubation of the first giant turtle babies was achieved successfully and registered after 100 years, filling us with positivism by winning a battle against the eminent extinction these animals faced before this great effort of scientists and dedicated people.
In Costa Ballena there are also turtles, four species visit both the sea and the beaches, the baula, green, hawksbill and lora turtles are observed throughout our region. On the beaches where they nest, it is very rare to see natural births since as the same for the two of Galapagos species, our species are also threatened by human beings, mainly by ransacking their nests.
Thanks to different groups in the area many of these nests are rescued providing an opportunity for new generations to know these animals.
Hopefully we won’t have to wait 100 years to see our baby turtles again, it is better if we work together and take care of them now.