Thursday, January 14, 2010

Seychelles Giant Tortoise

With the success of the export to Seychelles, I have now been asked to find a marketplace for some Giant tortoise babies.

How interesting, and i will look, there must be someone around that wants to make sure these beautiful creatures, thought to be extinct, until 1999.

Apparantly a breeding program has taken place in Seychelles, and now there are some tortoise babies for sale.

In the 19th century the first settlers arrived on Silhouette Island – the Dauban Family from Mauritius. Over the next few years they gradually acquired the whole island, and began cinnamon and coconut plantations. Unfortunately, a crash in the copra market at that time forced the family to mortgage the island.Silhouette is surrounded by a marine national park and some areas of the island have been designated as nature reserves. Ron and Gill Gerlach began the Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles (NPTS) in 1996 to protect Silhouette.
Seychelles Giant Tortoise Conservation ProjectGiant tortoises inhabited Silhouette until the first explorers from Europe arrived in the 16th century. These enormous defenceless creatures were killed for their meat in vast numbers until by 1840 the only survivors were in captivity or inhabiting Aldabra, an isolated atoll in the south of Seychelles waters.

From then on it was believed that the only Indian Ocean giant tortoise species to survive was the Aldabran, a species often seen in zoos around the world. But in 1995 a strange looking tortoise in a hotel garden on Mahé was brought to the attention of The Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles. Speculation that it might be a survivor of one of the extinct Seychelles species prompted a genetic study of tortoises in Seychelles. In March 1997 this study revealed that a few individuals of two "extinct" species survived, scattered amongst the captive groups of the Aldabran species.In July 1997 all the tortoises identified in the DNA study were acquired by The Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles and brought to the breeding enclosures on Silhouette, under the care of Ron and Gill. Silhouette is housing the only breeding populations of these two "extinct" species.

The NPTS depends on the work of a small band of dedicated volunteers who do not have an international fund-raising organisation. Support and sponsorship are vital. After 150 years of "extinction" this conservation project offers a last chance of survival for the rarest animals on earth.Ron and Gill would be pleased to show you the Centre, talk to you about the Seychelles Giant Tortoise Conservation Project and introduce you to these charismatic giants.
these guys live to over 100 years old, with one female turtle is believed to have live to 176 years old, when she died at the Australia Zoo, (Steve Irwins).
Well another chellenge

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