It has been almost 200 years since land iguanas were seen on this region of the Galapagos Islands – but thanks to an intensive park restoration project, the reptile has just been reintroduced to its natural habitat once more.
The land iguana was wiped out from the park’s Santiago Island due to invasive predators such as feral pigs, rats, and dogs preying on their eggs.
Due to careful conservation measures and the removal of these invasive species, however, ecologists successfully managed to transfer 1,436 iguanas from another region of the park to Santiago Island this week.
“The presence of living land iguanas on Santiago Island was reported for the last time in 1835, during the visit that Charles Darwin made to the northeast of the island,” said the Galapagos National Park Facebook page. “Almost two centuries later, this ecosystem will once again have this species through this restoration initiative.”
The reptilian herbivores have historically served as an invaluable part of the islands’ ecosystem by keeping vegetation in check and dispersing seeds.
As a means of ensuring the iguana’s successful reintegration to the island, park authorities will be monitoring their nesting and feeding habits during the coming years.
Galapagos National Park Director Jorge Carrión lauded the ecological achievement on Twitter as “great news for Galápagos, for Ecuador, and the world.”
Be Sure And Share The Good News With Your Friends On Social Media – Photo by Parque Nacional Galápagos Facebook