Iguanas repatriated | November 6th, 2008

On April 29th, in the presence of the Minister of the Environment, Marcela AguiƱaga, 74 land iguanas Conolophus subcristatus were released on Baltra, the final stage of a 28 year, very successful, conservation programme. The story of the Baltra land iguana Conolophus sucbcristatus is well known. In 1933 scientists from the Alan Hancock expedition moved some 70 iguanas from Baltra to the neighbouring island of Seymour, where they thrived. When Baltra was taken over as a military base during WW2, the land iguanas disappeared, probably as a result of a combination of rats, cats, jeeps and iguanaburgers. In the 1980s the Galapagos National Park started a captive breeding programme, using iguanas from Seymour. They started re-introducing them to Baltra in 1991. A total of 420 iguanas have now been repatriated to Baltra where they have re-established themselves and live in harmony with the members of the Ecuadorian military base there. In itself an excellent educational opportunity.