Spend a day with our guests on Santa Cruz Island in Galápagos and see not just the strange and beautiful wildlife, but the way some residents choose to make a live: sustainable farming in the highlands. We visit a farm that produces sugar cane in the old-fashioned method, plus shade-grown coffee, and a Galápagos liquor made from fermented and distilled sugar cane juice.
When the Galápagos tortoise Lonesome George died at the Charles Darwin Research Station earlier this year, it was thought that his subspecies had gone extinct. Researchers at the Darwin Station had hoped Lonesome George would breed with tortoises from neighboring islands, but he died never having sired progeny in captivity. He was the last of his line.
But a new study conducted by Yale University researchers has found that tortoises living in the wild near Wolf Volcano share much of the same DNA as George. And they agree that it’s possible more of his kind could still be living in the wild. A survey of 1,667 wild tortoises identified 17 descendants of the same ancestors of George. Of the 17, five were juveniles suggesting that a purebred tortoise, the same as George, may still live on the island. If one does exist, it wouldn’t be the first time this subspecies has made a startling appearance.
George’s subspecies, Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni, was wiped out by human settlers in the early 1900s and declared extinct—until a George was discovered in 1972.
SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank seeks to inspire people to care for and conserve our oceans in a unique way—by getting photographers to share their undersea photos.
As part of the effort to get photographers to donate their work to the Photobank, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic offers the top prize in SeaWeb’s annual Ocean in Focus Photo Contest: A Galápagos expedition aboard National Geographic Endeavour.
The grand prize winner of last year’s contest was Terry Goss. Last week he sailed aboard Endeavour, and he made the most of it by taking some great shots, including some excellent undersea photos. And it’s certain to be a trip he’ll never forget, especially since he and his fiancée decided to get married at sunset on the ship’s bow by the captain.
This year’s Ocean in Focus Photo Contest is still open. Photographers are asked to donate up to 10 photos by January 31, 2013 for a chance to win this year’s grand prize.