İFrank Stanton, 1997

 Save the Galapagos Tortoise

By Paige

 

Copyright 1995 Janet Egan (Used with her permission)
Scientific Name Geochelone Elephantopu Range They are found on the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. Climate They live in warm dry parts of the islands. Description The Galapagos Tortoise is 4 feet long ,500-600 pounds. Males are typically larger than females. Their front part of the shell is bent upward and shaped like a saddle, letting the animal raise it's head to graze on higher parts of plants. Active They're active during mid-morning when the heat is not so high. Food

They eat grasses, forbs, leaves. They have also been known to eat foods, such as; stinging nettles and crab-apples of the manzanillo tree, which can burn human skin.

Life Span They can live to over 100 years old. But most babies die in the first 10 years because of predators. Social Structure There is a social system of sorts. The tortoise will travel to the lakes in numbers to swim and return in groups as well. Gestation Incubation time ranges from three to eight months, depending upon the temperature of the weather. Average Litter It has ten babies per year. They mate during the end of the dry season, but the female lays her eggs in the beginning of the wet season. Predators Their predators are wild goats and pigs, who destroy the land so nests can be found. Humans catch them for meat and body parts. Why endangered? The Galapagos Tortoises were hunted for meat, money, and body parts. They have been hunted until few remain. And with other animals eating the eggs and the babies, it was hard to reproduce. What should be done to protect this species? On March 6, 1998, the Galapagos special law was passed. The new law recognizes the Islands as a "priority area," bans commercial fishing, limits migration to the islands, implements an inspection and quarantine system, and requires more tourism dollars to go toward conserving the islands. What can YOU do to help You can donate money to groups protecing the Galapagos Tortoise such as WWF, the World Wildlife Fund, which has collected $3,000 million for Galapagos reasons. Participation in the Galapagos petition encouraged the Ecuadorean government to fully protect Darwin's laboratory of evolution. You can continue to help by joining WWF's Conservation Action Network. Participants receive email messages on a regular basis, offering opportunities to take action on a number of important issues such as endangered species, global warming, forest protection, and many others. There is no charge to participate in the Conservation Action Network--just fill out the form to start helping making a differencetoday. We also invite you to visit our Action Control Center again to find out what else you can do to help save life on Earth.

 


Galapagos Tortoise | Photo Album | Galapagos Vacation | Victory in the Galapagos

 

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