Abingdon Tortoise

"The World's Rarest Animal" - Guinness Book of World Records

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  • Giant Sea Tortoise
  • Weight: 90 kg
  • Native to the Galapagos Islands
  • There is believed to be only one left

Biological Classifications
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Testudinidae
  • Genus: Geochelone
  • Species: G. Nigra
  • Subspecies: G. N. Abingdoni

Abingdon Tortoise's Niche:

The Abingdon Tortoise does not have a very large environmental niche. Native to the Galapagos Islands, the Abingdon Tortoise's numbers have decreased greatly. As a result of there only being one known Abingdon Tortoise, who is in captivity, it no longer has an environmental niche.

Laws and Programs to protect the Abingdon Tortoise:

No laws have been passed to protect the Abingdon Tortoise, but several programs have been active in hopes of preserving this species. Since the 1970's when Lonesome George was discovered, scientists have been trying to get him to mate. Since he doesn't have a mate of his own species, scientists have been attempting to get him to mate with other subspecies of giant turtles from the Galapagos Islands. He is yet to mate, but is said to be in the peak of his sexual capabilities, so scientists are optimistic. This video from the BBC highlights those points: BBC Video Additionally, the Galapagos Tortoise Program was passed in 2009 to provide the Galapagos National Park with "critical information on the distribution, abundance, migration patterns, and ecology" of the giant tortoise.

Pressure that led to Endangerment:

´╗┐There are several factors that have led to the Abingdon Turtles endangerment near and extinction. One of the leading contributors was the introduction of goats and other non-indigenous animals to the Galapagos Islands. The goats ate the majority of the tortoise's food. Since they were living on an Island, they began to starve. Another factor is their physical nature. Tortoises have always been eaten by humans, giant tortoises are no exception. They used to be the food of choice for some sailors because they were big, slow, and meaty. Luckily, Lonesome George was discovered and identified as an ultra-rare Tortoise in the 1970's. Without that little bit of luck, there would no longer be any Abingdon Tortoise's on Earth today.


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