Sunday, May 16, 2010

Darwin Research Station

First, a beautiful bird photo by Lenny. We had a spectacular walk to the Darwin research and breeding station just up the street from our hotel. It includes several buildings with maps, photos, and other explanatory material about the wildlife, and we were also accompanied by a very good guide.

Workers at Darwin rescue baby turtles, land iguanas, and other endangered animals and raise them in a natural setting. When the animals mature and their habitats on other islands are returned to a good condition (especially without introduced predators) they are returned to the wild. Baby tortoises can be eaten by rats, for example. We saw a group of men on a truck taking a tortoise down to the dock for return to the wild. The area is also full of birds: we saw several of the famous species of finch.

On the dock, the crabs and marine iguanas are wild --

The tortoises are quite amazing --

We did not get to see Lonesome George, the last of his tortoise species, as he was hiding in his corral. However, these three huge tortoises of a safe species are thought to be around 200 years old --


Jeanie said...

Wow -- the bird shots! Exquisite! I know I'll enjoy traveling on your journey with you!

ArnyTracy said...

This appears to have been taken with a "tortoise eye" lens, or are these tortoises really 9 feet long?