Conservationists announced on Tuesday that the giant tortoises which are found exclusively on the Galapagos island of Espanola have made a miraculous recovery, and have been brought back from the brink of extinction, having gained a strong enough foothold that the reptiles will be able to survive without assistance from humans, according to TIME.
“We saved a species from the brink of extinction and now can step back out of the process. The tortoises can care for themselves,” said James Gibbs, a vertebrate conservation biology professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry who led the study, as quoted by Reuters. “It’s one of the greatest conservation success stories.”
“Population restoration is one thing but ecological restoration is going to take a lot longer,” Gibbs continued, as quoted by Discovery News. “This is a miraculous conservation success accomplished by the Galapagos National Park Service, but there is yet more work to fully recover the ecosystem upon which the tortoises and other rare species depend.”