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Showing blog posts tagged with "Center for Biodiversity and Conservation"

Green turtle Chelonia mydas Palmyra Atoll

New Research: Tracking the Birthplaces and "Lost Years" of Green Turtles

Research posts

New research led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York provides insight to the population distribution and “lost years” of Central Pacific green turtles, the span of time when the turtles hatch, enter the water, and emerge on a feeding ground often hundreds of miles away.

Tags: Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, Our Research

Lonesome-George-250

Remembering Lonesome George

Q&As

On Sunday, the tree of life lost another member: Lonesome George, the famed last survivor of the Pinta Island tortoises (Chelonoidis abingdoni). Director of the Museum’s Center for Biodiveristy and Conservation Eleanor Sterling has been in the Galápagos for the past few days. She recently answered a few questions about Lonesome George’s passing and legacy.

What are you doing in the Galápagos?

Eleanor Sterling: The Galápagos National Park Service and the Galápagos Conservancy called together a meeting of experts on public participation in monitoring and conservation and I was invited as a specialist.

Who was Lonesome George?

Sterling: Lonesome George was a giant tortoise who was close to a century old and who was quite famous for being the last known representative of his species. And with his death, the whole species that was found on Pinta Island in the Galápagos is now extinct. There are other individuals who have some of the genes of Pinta Island tortoises, but he was last known individual to have the full genome of this species.

What role did humans play in the decline of his species?

Sterling: Seafaring individuals stopped by the Galápagos and collected tens of thousands of tortoises over the years. They packed their hulls with tortoises to use as food as they traveled around rest of world, because tortoises could last a long time without dying. Humans also introduced species such as rats to the islands where tortoises live, and those introduced species compete with tortoises for food or depredate on their young and eggs.

Tags: Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, From the Field, Q&A

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