Galapagos recovery 加拉巴哥象龟数量回升
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加拉巴哥岛象龟有可能幸免于绝种。在实施了一项包括圈养繁殖在内的生态保护项目之后，这种龟的数量在过去几年里已经从15只增加到1000多只。每只加拉巴哥岛象龟的体重可高达250公斤，寿命逾100年。这项研究发表在最新一期的《公共科学图书馆》期刊上。以下是 BBC 记者 Johnathan Webb 的报道:
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.