The tortoises of Floreana went extinct a decade or two after Charles Darwin’s visit in 1835, with the very last surviving individuals most likely hunted for food. In November 2015, 19 tortoises with partial Floreana ancestry were transferred from Wolf Volcano to the Tortoise Center on Santa Cruz. An additional four tortoises already in the Center were also identified as having partial Floreana tortoise ancestry. A breeding program, initiated with 20 of these tortoises in 2017, is producing tortoises with nearly 100% Floreana ancestry.
When they are big and strong enough, young tortoises will be released onto Floreana in the future. But first, invasive rats and cats, that eat eggs and young tortoises, need to be eradicated from the island to create a safe habitat.
By adopting a Floreana Giant Tortoise, you are participating in bringing a species back from extinction and giving Floreana island the chance to recover habitat for all its native wildlife.