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Scientists seek out mate for only known Fernandina Island Galapagos tortoise

The Fernandina Island Galapagos tortoise had not been seen in more than a century when a middle-aged female was surprisingly discovered in 2019, offering scientists hope that this long-living reptile species could be saved from extinction.

Now an expedition has been planned on that remote Pacific archipelago, an Ecuadorian province, to try and find other members of that same species, and particularly a potential male mate for Fernanda.

Weather permitting, experts from the Galapagos Conservancy and Galapagos National Park rangers will set off toward year’s end for volcanic and uninhabited Fernandina Island in hopes of finding between one and three other “Chelonoidis phantasticus” tortoises, a species that can live to be around 200 years old.

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