For the first time in nearly two centuries, the yellow iguana bred naturally on the island of Santiago, part of the Galapagos archipelago in Ecuador.
According to the announcement by the authorities of the Galapagos National Park on Monday (1), the animals are descendants of 3,143 iguanas of this species. Conolophus subcristatuswas returned to the island in 2019.
“[Encontrar os filhotes] “It means that the iguanas on the island of Santiago are successfully breeding and playing their corresponding ecological role,” said Dani Rueda, director of the Ecuadorean Foundation.
Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who devised the theory of evolution, in 1835, recorded a large number of yellow iguanas on the island of Santiago while visiting the Galapagos archipelago. Years later, the scenario was already different.
In 1903 and 1906, the California Academy of Sciences made two expeditions from United Statevisited the area, but scientists did not find any samples of it C. subcristatus.
The Galapagos National Park team measured and weighed the newborns before tagging them. These procedures are important to monitor the health and size of these animals.
“The discovery of indistinguishable newborns means that the population is reproducing in the wild. This has not happened since the late 19th century,” scientist Luis Ortiz noted, adding: “We have a healthy population structure. Males, females and newborns are distributed over an area of 12 km by 2 km.
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