Galapagos recovery 加拉巴哥像龜數量回升

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Image caption Galapagos tortoises live for more than 100 years

加拉巴哥島像龜有可能倖免於絕種。在實施了一項包括圈養繁殖在內的生態保護項目之後,這種龜的數量在過去幾年裏已經從15只增加到1000多只。每只加拉巴哥島像龜的體重可高達250公斤,壽命逾100年。這項研究發表在最新一期的《公共科學圖書館》期刊上。以下是 BBC 記者 Johnathan Webb 的報道:

The problem began with the introduction of goats to the Galapagos in the 19th Century. They devoured the island』s vegetation. Juicy cactus leaves were a crucial food source to the native giant tortoises. On the island of Espanola the tortoise population crashed to just 15 by the 1960s.

That』s when conservationists began a trailblazing programme. Keeping those last few tortoises in captivity, over the next 50 years they gradually reintroduced their offspring to the island. At the same time they worked hard to wipe out the feral goats.

Now a detailed study of the island has found that more than half of those reintroduced tortoises are still alive and, importantly, they are breeding well enough to keep the colony plodding along.

Although still only at about 20% of their original numbers, these tortoises are a clear demonstration that carefully managed reintroduction can succeed as long as it』s not hurried.