ANIMAL CURIOSITIES

Diego, the king of reproductive activity: here's how it saved  its species from extinction

Today you can discover the story of a giant tortoise from Galapagos called Diego, whose passion and determination helped save its species from extinction.

Thanks to its incredible breeding ability and the collaboration of a team of experts, Diego has become a national hero and an example of how even a single individual can make a difference in wildlife conservation.

Through a series of photographs, we will guide you through the journey of Diego, from its life on the desolate island where it was discovered, to its breeding life in national parks, to the moment it was released into the wild, becoming a symbol of hope for its species and for the world.

Wikimedia Commons Rights / Getty Images (collage)
Diego, the king of reproductive activity: here's how he saved its species from extinction
Today you can discover the story of a giant tortoise from Galapagos called Diego, whose passion and determination helped save its species from extinction. Thanks to its incredible breeding ability and the collaboration of a team of experts, Diego has become a national hero and an example of how even a single individual can make a difference in wildlife conservation.Through a series of photographs, we will guide you through the journey of Diego, from its life on the desolate island where it was discovered, to its breeding life in national parks, to the moment it was released into the wild, becoming a symbol of hope for its species and the world.
By Kaldari - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85879070
Diego, a crucial role
Diego is a famous giant tortoise that played a crucial role in saving its species from extinction. The turtle belongs to the subspecies Chelonoidis hoodensis and was found in the  Galapagos islands. These islands are famous for their unique flora and fauna and are home to several species of giant tortoises. However, Chelonoidis hoodensis was on the brink of extinction, with only 12 individuals remaining in the 1960s.
Photo by RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP (Getty Images)
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Born on the island of Española, it arrived in 1959 in the United States and for 17 years lived in the zoo at San Diego, hence its  name. Diego was later identified as an "alpha male" and was brought back to the Island of Española (Galápagos) for a captive breeding program. Diego 's participation in the program was crucial as it fathered over 800 offspring, more than any other turtle in the program. Its efforts helped increase the population of the subspecies Chelonoidis hoodensis from 12 to over 2000 individuals.
By Peter Wilton - Galápagos tortoiseUploaded by Magnus Manske, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia
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The survival rate of the offspring on the island was about 50 percent. Although there were also other male turtles that had contributed to the reproduction, Diego was the most notorious for its aggressiveness and exuberance, which made it particularly popular among female turtles.
By Peter Wilton - Galápagos tortoiseUploaded by Magnus Manske, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia
Symbol of hope
The breeding program ended in January 2020: Diego was officially retired and released back into the wild in June 2020 along with 14 other turtles from the program. Thanks to the efforts of this breeding program, the number of turtles on their original island has increased significantly and they are considered self-sustaining with no new influx from the young of the program. Diego has become a symbol of hope for endangered species and an example of how conservation efforts can be successful. Its story also inspires people to protect other endangered species and preserve their natural habitats.
Art galleries private collections
20/02/2024
Art galleries private collections
19/02/2024
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