Galapagos Giant Tortoises brings together researchers and conservationists to share the most up-to-date knowledge of Galapagos giant tortoises. Despite being icons of the world-famous Galapagos Archipelago and the target of more than 50 years of conservation research and management, Galapagos giant tortoise evolution and much of their ecology remained unknown until recently. This book documents the history, the pressing conservation issues, and success stories recovering several of the 15 different species of Galapagos tortoises from near extinction.
The book begins with an overview of the history of the relationship between humans and Galapagos giant tortoises, starting from initial heavy exploitation of tortoises by pirates and whalers, and extending to the start of the modern conservation era in the 1960s. The book then shifts to biology, describing Galapagos tortoise evolution, taxonomy, ecology, habitats, reproduction, and behavior. Next the decades of conservation efforts and their results are reviewed, including issues of captive breeding, invasive species, introduced diseases, and de-extinction, as well as the current status and distribution of every species. The final portion of the book turns to four case studies of restoration, and then looks ahead to the future of all tortoise populations.The latest volume in the Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscape series, Galapagos Giant Tortoises is a valuable resource for researchers and conservationists, as well as students of biology, wildlife conservation, and herpetology.
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Table of ContentsSection I: Overview 1. The Galapagos: Island Home of Giant Tortoises 2. Galapagos tortoises: Protagonists in the spectacle of life on Earth
Section II: History of Human
Tortoise Interactions 3. Human perceptions of Galapagos tortoises through history 4. The era of exploitation: 1700-1959 5. Darwin and the Galapagos giant tortoises 6. The Collectors: Beginnings of scientific inquiry and the lasting impacts of living and museum collections
Section III: Natural History 7. Evolution and phylogenetics 8. Morphology 9. Reproduction 10. Thermoregulation 11. Behavior and Diet 12. Population biology 13. Movement ecology 14. Habitats 15. Role in Ecosystems 16. Galapagos Tortoises in a Changing Climate
Section IV: Conservation: Slow Rescue from Near Destruction 17. History of Galapagos tortoise conservation 18. Tortoise health 19. Invasive Species: Impacts, Control, and Eradication 20. Tortoise Populations after 60 Years of Conservation
Section V: Restoration Case Studies 21. Espaï¿½ola Island: From Near Extinction to Recovery 22. Pinzï¿½n Island: A Century of Zero Tortoise Hatchlings to a Growing Population 23. Floreana and Pinta Islands: Restoring Tortoise Populations through Lost Lineage Recovery 24. Santa Fe Island: Return of tortoises via a replacement species
Section VI: Into the Future 25. Beyond rescue to full recovery