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Santiago Island, Galapagos Reintroduced To Iguanas

The Galapagos archipelago, some 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the Ecuador coast, contains unique wildlife and vegetation, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Iguana, galapagos
A Galapagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) sunbathe at the Tortuga Bay beach on the Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos, Ecuador, Jan. 20, 2018. VOA

A group of more than 1,400 iguanas have been reintroduced to an Ecuadoran island in the Galapagos archipelago around two centuries after they disappeared from there, authorities said on Monday.

The Galapagos land iguanas from North Seymour Island were freed onto Santiago Island as part of an ecological restoration program, the National Galapagos Park authority said in a statement.

The last recorded sighting of iguanas in Santiago Island had been made by British naturalist Charles Darwin in 1835.

iguana, galapagos
Galapagos marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) sunbathe at the Tortuga Bay beach on the Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos, Ecuador, Jan. 20, 2018. VOA

“Almost two centuries later, this ecosystem will once again count on this species through the restoration initiative,” said the park authority.

Its director, Jorge Carrion, said the iguanas became extinct due to the introduction of predators such as the feral pig, which was eradicated in 2001.

The program is also aimed at protecting the population of iguanas on North Seymour, said to number around 5,000, where food is limited.

“The land iguana is a herbivore that helps ecosystems by dispersing seeds and maintaining open spaces devoid of vegetation,” said Danny Rueda, the park authority’s ecosystems director.

Iguana, galapagos
A Galapagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) sunbathe next to tourists at the Tortuga Bay beach on the Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos, Ecuador, Jan. 20, 2018. VOA

The Galapagos archipelago, some 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the Ecuador coast, contains unique wildlife and vegetation, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Also Read: India To Release 8 Endangered White-Backed Vultures In The Wild

But it has one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world. (VOA)

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World Class Zoo Worth Rs 500 Cr to Come Up in Mumbai

The proposed site in Aarey Milk Colony was inspected by a CZA team in 2014 which recently gave its clearance

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World, Zoo, Mumbai
The zoo, estimated to cost around Rs 500 crore. Pixabay

An ultra-modern zoo of global standards, spread across 100 acres, is expected to come up in the lush green environs in the suburban Goregaon in Maharashtra, officials said here on Wednesday.

The zoo, estimated to cost around Rs 500 crore, will have a host of unseen wild animals, trails and jungle safaris, nature education centre, a separate breeding centre and other facilities as per guidelines of Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

The proposed site in Aarey Milk Colony was inspected by a CZA team in 2014 which recently gave its clearance, and the new zoo will be virtually adjacent to two tourism centres like the famed Film City and nearby the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

On Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Maharashtra Forest Department and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) whereby 100 acres of the 190-acre government land will be given for setting up the zoo.

World, Zoo, Mumbai
An ultra-modern zoo of global standards, spread across 100 acres, is expected to come up in the lush green environs in the suburban Goregaon in Maharashtra. Pixabay

The BMC will soon appoint a project management consultant and prepare a comprehensive master plan for the zoo which will be executed from its own resources. However, the net revenues shall be shared by the civic body and the forest department.

The MoU documents were signed and exchanged in the presence of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.

As per the MoU, the forest department will provide technical expertise in procuring various animals for the zoo and other facilities which would showcase the rich biodiversity of the state and the country.

Also Read- AMD’s New 16-Core CPU Takes Aim at PC Gamers, Throws Shade at Intel

Since there is no space to expand the existing 50-acre zoo in Byculla, an alternative site inside the Aarey Milk Colony was explored. (IANS)