Seychelles giant tortoises

Release of juvenile giant tortoises

The decision of the Islands Development Company to evict NPTS from Silhouette island by March 2011 and the incomprehensible refusal to have wild tortoises on the island forced us to find new homes for the tortoises. Fortunately the privately managed islands of Cousine agreed to provide a new home for the hololissa tortoises, and North and Fregate islands the arnoldi tortoises. Had we been able to release them on Silhouette island we would have established separate wild populations of the two types, now they will be mixed with the Aldabra tortoises that are already on the three islands. We take consolation from the fact that we have produced a new generation of 160 young tortoises which will live on for at least 100 years. In that time there may be an opportunity to establish pure populations of these tortoises; fortunately these animals live longer than short-term management and development perspectives.

On 4th February 2011 the first of the arnoldis were moved to North. In April the hololissa tortoises went to Cousine. Unfortuantely North island subsequently decided that they did not want more tortoises on the island and refused to take the remaining 92 arnoldi. Fregate island kindly agreed to take them and the last of our tortoises were finally moved on 14th June.

The first eight tortoises starting their journey

Leaving Silhouette for their new life on North

Arrival on North

Seychelles biodiversity

Phelsuma journal


Justin Gerlach by e-mail