One of the first-ever photos of a young pink iguana. Photo Credit: Galápagos Conservancy / Galápagos National Park Directorate. Video: Al Jazeera English

Animals Ecuador8. January 2023

Endangered Pink Reptile Sees “First Hope” for Survival

The critically endangered pink iguana, an endemic species to Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, is on its way to recovery since scientists finally found nesting sites and hatchlings, a sign that the reptile’s last surviving population has a chance to bounce back.

“The discovery of the first-ever nest and young pink iguanas together with evidence of the critical threats to their survival has also given us the first hope for saving this enigmatic species from extinction,” states Paul Salaman, president of Galápagos Conservancy. “Now, our work begins to save the pink iguana.”

Discovered in 1986, the species was only identified in 2009. Found only on Isabela Islands’ Wolf Volcano, the Galápagos’ tallest volcano, the pink iguana has a small population of only between 200 and 300 adults. Following seven expeditions over the past ten months, scientists have been able to document the reptile’s first-ever nesting sites, and the first recorded pink iguana hatchlings. Iniciativa Galápagos, a partnership between the Galápagos National Park Directorate and Galápagos Conservancy, was instrumental in finding the endangered species, and its new goal is to protect and monitor the nesting locations. To do so, they created a field station with a 360-degree view of Wolf Volcano. Other endemic species call the Galápagos home, including the giant Galápagos tortoise, the Galápagos penguin, and the marine iguana.

Smithsonian Magazine

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