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Conservation Biology of Giant Tortoises in Galapagos

A wild Galapagos tortoise surrounded by vegetation on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos archipelago.
A wild Galapagos tortoise on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos archipelago.(Credit: Jeff Lovich, USGS. Public domain.)

Research and management programs focused on the giant tortoises endemic to Galapagos involve study of population biology, effects of introduced species, and in situ breeding and rearing of the most endangered populations. T. H. Fritts (USGS) works closely with the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos National Park on reptile biology and introduced species issues.

USGS Mission Tie In: Programs in the Galapagos National Park strongly mirror major emphases of biological research capabilities of the USGS (endangered species, introduced species management, GIS, and ecosystem management.

All field aspects are conducted in Galapagos, Ecuador, but ancillary studies are conducted in collaboration with cooperators at Yale University, University of New Mexico, and the USGS's Midcontinent Ecological Science Center.

Charles Darwin Foundation 
Galapagos National Park