Iguanas reproducing on Galapagos island, more than a century after disappearing

A land iguana that vanished from one of the Galapagos islands more than a century ago is again returning and breeding naturally there.

According to a 1903-06 mission to Santiago Island by the California Academy of Sciences, the Conolophus subcristatus species land iguana, one of three land iguanas dwelling on the archipelago, vanished there in the early 20th century, according to Ecuador’s environment ministry.


In an effort to revive Santiago, the natural environment of the Pacific archipelago, the Galapagos National Park authorities imported more than 3,000 iguanas from a nearby island in 2019. Santiago is located in the middle of the archipelago.
Charles Darwin, a British geologist and naturalist, conducted his evolutionary studies on the isolated island chain, which helped make him renowned.
Darwin noted a great population of iguanas on Santiago in 1835, including all ages.
Danny Rueda, the head of the Galapagos National Park authority, stated that “187 years later, we are once again witnessing a robust population of land iguanas.”

Males, ladies, children, and babies were all present. This indicates that the iguanas on Santiago Island are breeding well and serving their necessary ecological functions.

This enhances our expectations for restoration on the islands that have been badly impacted by invasive species and is a fantastic conservation accomplishment.
Since the species have returned to the island, they may once more contribute to the ecology by making trails, removing soil, disseminating seeds, and even supplying food for birds like sparrowhawks, according to Mr. Rueda.
The Galapagos islands, some 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, are home to rare plants and animals and are a Natural World Heritage site.

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