– Iguanas that disappeared a hundred years ago are reproducing
For the first time since its reintroduction in 2019, the Galapagos space iguana, which disappeared from the wild in the early 20th century, is reproducing.
A land iguana that disappeared from one of the Galapagos islands a century ago is reproducing naturally after being reintroduced, Ecuador’s environment ministry announced Monday.
Reptiles of the genus Conolopus subcristatus, one of the three land iguanas living in the archipelago, disappeared from Santiago Island at the beginning of the 20th century, noted by the expedition of the Academy of Sciences of California in 1903-06, the ministry said. In 2019, the Galápagos National Park (PNG) Authority reintroduced 3,000 iguanas from a neighboring island to restore Santiago’s natural ecosystem in the heart of the Pacific archipelago.
This isolated chain of islands was made famous by the observations of British geographer and naturalist Charles Darwin, who in 1835 recorded significant numbers of iguanas of all ages in Santiago.
PNG Director Danny Rueda said, “After 187 years, we are once again seeing healthy land iguanas with adults, young and hatchlings. This is an outstanding conservation achievement and strengthens our confidence for reintroduction. Located nearly 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are home to unique flora and fauna and are listed as World Natural Heritage Sites.