Tortoise or Tortuga

Tortoises and Birds: Galapagos

The Barkers arranged for a land tour on Isabella (via YachtGala Services).  Our first stop was the Centro de Crianza de Tortguas Terrestres “Arnaldo Tupiza Chamaidan.  This is a sanctuary and breeding center where their primary goal is preserving these beautiful creatures.  Each island has its own version of a tortoise sanctuary with many different breeds of tortoises.

At this particular breeding center, they have over 800 tortoises and 65  of those are breeding tortoises.  There are 5 species of tortoises in Isabella, but 2 only two of those species are currently breeding.  Most of these tortoises are endangered.

Not so easy for tortoises to breed

Not so easy for tortoises to breed

The scientists rescued the tortoises from the volcanic areas.  Most of the tortoises here are from the Sierra Negra Volcano.

The biggest threats to these gentle giants are rats and goats.  The majority of the eggs die in the natural habitat because of these threats.  So, the scientists collects the eggs, hatches them at the center, and then releases them into the wild once the tortoises are mature.

Once hatched, the babies are in cages until they are 2 years old.  Then they are divided by age, region, and population and moved into small, confined habitats until they become juveniles (4-5 years old).  Next, they are moved to the main population once they become teenagers.  They are considered mature at age 25 and will live to be over 150 years of age.

Tortoises or Tortugas

Tortoises or Tortugas

Concha de Perla:

We enjoyed a small walk to Concha de Perla, where I dutifully blew out another flip flop. Lucky for me it was soft gravel and I was able to walk barefoot.  This is a bird lovers paradise!

We saw flamingos, black neck steel birds, pintail ducks and gallenos.  There are only 350 flamingos in the Galapagos so it was a real treat to see these long legged beauties.

Concha de Perla Bird Paradise

Concha de Perla Bird Paradise

The pintail ducks have a beautiful, vibrant green strip on the inside of their wing which I happened to capture!.

After our big day, we stopped in to have lunch at the Iguana Crossing.  Leave it to Matt and Diana to find the most swankiest hotel on the island.  The hotel claimed to be booked, but lucky for us there were not many guests around.  We enjoyed a lovely lunch before heading back into town.

Right by the dock is a beach full of sea wolves.  We had a blast doing a small photo shoot.

Sea Wolves Take Over the Islands

Sea Wolves Take Over the Islands

Did you notice the marine iguana who left his imprint on the sidewalk?

What’s Next?

Don’t miss out on the next blog as we did a spectacular tour of La Tuneles with the most amazing snorkel adventure!

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