Sunday, November 18, 2012

Good news everyone!

Headline news at National Geographic from a paper published in Biological Conservation.

The tide may be turning for the rare subspecies of giant tortoise thought to have gone extinct when its last known member, the beloved Lonesome George, died in June.

A new study by Yale University researchers reveals that DNA from George's ancestors lives on—and that more of his kind may still be alive in a remote area of Ecuador's Gal├ípagos Islands.

From the Yale website:

When the giant tortoise Lonesome George died this summer, conservationists from around the world mourned the extinction his species. However, a genetic analysis by Yale University researchers of tortoises living in a remote area of a Galapagos Island suggests individuals of the same tortoise species may still be alive — perhaps ancestors of tortoises thrown overboard by 19th century sailors.
Yale and the Galapagos Conservancy hope to collect hybrids and any surviving members of both Pinta and Floreana Island species and begin a captive breeding program that would restore both species.

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