Pinta Giant-Tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii) | Tropical Herping. They collected 3 males, which were the last tortoises seen on Pinta for the next 60 years. Vágvölgyi recounted his observation back in port, and in the spring of 1972, Galapagos National Park rangers brought the tortoise to the Tortoise Center on Santa Cruz for its protection. It has been presumed extinct since about 1970, but scientists have been unable to do thorough field studies in the area due to safety concerns. More recent genetic analyses have shown that this was incorrect. Their population is currently estimated at 20,000 individuals.
Another 63 are thought to have Floreana ancestry, but none appear to descend from Pinta. Project Pinta, aimed at the restoration of the island in part through the return of giant tortoises is ongoing today. The name stuck. This animal was a giant male Galapagos tortoise that went by the name of Lonesome George.
We worked with various IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups and other partners to determine these lists of flagship species. Then in 1971, József Vágvölgyi, a Hungarian scientist studying snails on Pinta saw a tortoise on the island – Lonesome George. Since that time, veterinarians and nutritionists examined him periodically and personnel of the center continued to implement their recommendations. Saddlebacked Tortoises have raised, saddle – like shells and long limbs and neck. See it in pictures, in distribution maps, and learn how to recognize it and where to find it. Get breaking news from the Galapagos Islands along with important conservation updates, announcements and more directly to your inbox!