Galapagos Species Checklist

Chelonoidis vandenburghi (De Sola, 1930)

tortuga de Alcedo, Alcedo Galapagos Tortoise

Galapagos Giant Tortoise, crater rim Alcedo. Photo: Frank Bungartz, CDF, 2006.
Galapagos Giant Tortoise, crater rim Alcedo. Photo: Frank Bungartz, CDF, 2006.

Taxonomy

Domain
Eukaryota

Kingdom
Animalia

Phylum
Chordata

Class
Reptilia

Order
Testudines

Family
Testunidae

Genus
Chelonoidis

Species
vandenburghi

Taxon category: Accepted

Syn.: Geochelone vandenburghi (De Sola, 1930), Testudo vandenburghi De Sola, 1930, Chelonoidis nigra vandenburghi De Sola, 1930. Le et al. (2006) demonstrate that the genus Geochelone is polyphyletic and that the Galapagos Giant Tortoises are better treated as the monophyletic genus Chelonoidis. According to Márquez et al. (2004) and Poulakakis et al. (2008) the Geochelone taxa (= Chelonoidis) from Galapagos are genetically distinct and therefore treated as species and not as subspecies of Geochelone (= Chelonoidis) nigra.

Status

Vulnerable

Distribution

Distribution: Restricted to Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island.

References

  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Milstead, B., Márquez, C., Zabala, J., Buitrón, P., Llerena, A., et al. (2007) Galapagos vertebrates: endangered status and conservation actions. Galapagos Report 2006–2007. Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, p. 104–110.
  • Carrillo, E. Aldás, S., Altamirano, M.A., Ayala-Varela, F., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Endara, A., Márquez, C., Morales, M., Nogales-Sornosa, F., Salvador, P., Torres, M.L., Valencia, J., Villamarín-Jurado, F., Yánez-Muñoz, M.H. & Zárate, P. (2005) Lista Roja de los Reptiles del Ecuador. Fundación Novum Milenium, UICN-Sur, UICN-Comité Ecuatoriano, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Serie Proyecto PEEPE. Quito, 46 pp.
  • IUCN (2010) IUCN Red list of threatened species. Version 2010.1. www.iucnredlist.org
  • Poulakakis, N. Glaberman, S., Russello, M., Beheregaray, L.B., Ciofi, C., Powell, J.R. & Caccone, A. (2008) Historical DNA analysis reveals living descendants of an extinct species of Galápagos tortoise. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (PNAS) 105(49): 15464-15469.
  • Ernst, C.H. Barbour, R.W. (1989) Turtles of the world. Smithsonian Instit. Press. USA 313 pp.
  • Caccone, A. Powell, J. (2009) Giant Tortoises. Mapping their Genetic Past and Future. In: T. De Roy (ed.): Galápagos. Preserving Darwin´s Legacy. Bateman, Albany, New Zealand, p. 98-105.
  • Fritts, T.H. (2001) A brief review of the taxonomic history of Galapagos Tortoise relevant to consideration of the most appropiate generic and specifc name for Giant Tortoises in Galapagos. U.S. Geological survey Report, 7 pp.
  • Caccone, A. Gibbs, J.P., Ketmaier, V., Suatoni, E. and Powell, J.R. (1999) Origin and Evolutionary Relationships of Giant Galapagos Tortoises. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. United States of America (PNAS) 96(23): 13223-13228.
  • Márquez, C. Wiedenfeld, D.A., Snell, H.L., Fritts, T., MacFarland, C., Tapia, W., & Naranjo, S. (2004) Population status of Giant Land Tortoises (Geochelone spp., Chelonya: Testudinae) from the Galapagos Islands. Ecología Aplicada 3(1-2): 98-111.
  • Russello M.A. Poulakakis, N., Gibbs, J.P., Tapia, W., Benavides, E., Powell, J.R. & Caccone, A. (2010) DNA from the Past Informs Ex Situ Conservation for the Future: An ‘Extinct’’ Species of Galápagos Tortoise Identified in Captivity. PLoS ONE 5(1): e8683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008683
  • Le, M. Raxworthy, C.J., McCord, W.P. & Mertz, L. (2006) A molecular phylogeny of tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40(2006): 517–531.

The “Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands”, in French “Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association International sans but lucratif (“AISBL”), has its registered office located at Drève du Pieuré 19, 1160 Brussels, and is registered under the trade registry of Brussels under the number 0409.359.103.

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