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86. Project Isabela

16 Apr

The enemy

FACT: Giant Tortoises, nice creatures, wise and a bit wrinkly. Wonderful.

As you well may know they are common in the Galapagos Islands. In fact each island tends to have its own species of tortoise, and that’s great because one can never have too many tortoises, you can however, have too much of something else.

Goats specifically.

Now we certainly know what goats are in this case; they are invaders. They were aggressive and competitive, their nimble feet and height meant that they were very effective at eating everything the tortoises wanted to eat. This was a problem on 3 of the islands, Isabela Island, Santiago Island and Pinta Island.

The Tortoise were facing extinction; goats ran rife throughout an area over 400,000 Hectares in size and the ecosystems were being decimated. Radical action was required to stop these fiends. That action was Project Isabela. It was an initiative run from 1997 until 2006, a nine-year commitment a minor goat apocalypse.

Using a combination of helicopter-borne snipers and ground crews they set about slowly hacking at the annoyingly alive goat population. Despite the ethical qualms with killing thousands upon thousands of goats, it is seen as being worth it. By, lets say, ‘losing’ the goats there was suddenly no more overgrazing, ecosystems snapped back into place and resumed their business, tortoises did tortoise things and trees became green again and did their typical photosynthesizing thing.

That was why the Galapagos hates and murders goats.Below i footage of some helicopter goat sniping in the Galapagos.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Articles, Trivia

 

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