‘Lonesome George’, the iconic giant tortoise of the Galapagos Islands has died. Estimated to be over 100 years old, George was the last of the Pinta Island tortoise, subspecies Geochelone nigra abingdoni. I visited his captive home, the Charles Darwin Research Centre on Santa Cruz island in 2007. Alone in his bathing pool, George looked a sad sight but the efforts of staff at the centre are to be commended. It cannot be easy, tasked with protecting the wildlife of these iconic islands.
The Pinta Island tortoise – and a conservation icon – is now extinct. Sadly, many more endemic/threatened/rare species of the Galapagos are in danger of being lost forever. To discover more, visit the Galapagos Conservation Trust website.
Two sleepy sea lions, photographed sunbathing on a beach in the Galapagos, featured on the Earthwatch website today. The homepage banner links to a valentines love story about volunteers who met on an expedition back in 1974.
I was on a mission to find, let alone photograph, Bee Orchids last year when Keith Allen, a warden from Gwent Wildlife Trust offered to show me a site where he knew they were flowering. Jumping at the chance I headed over to Monmouthshire, Wales where besides the trail in a tiny nature reserve Keith pointed out several of these small, striking plants. A selection of images from the mornings shoot were donated to the Trust, one of which now illustrates their Reserves Guide.
Poppy Field image purchased by a media company in the Czech Republic for interior decor use. Local farmland can be ablaze with the bright red colour of poppies as captured below but this iconic flower is more often seen as an agricultural weed.
Sky-pointing courtship display of a male Blue-footed Booby. Image donated to GCT.
An iconic (if somewhat comical and clumsy!) bird was celebrated by the Galapagos Conservation Trust on 17 June. Blue-footed Booby Day raises much needed money and awareness for the unique creatures of the Galapagos Islands.