The Giant Tortoises of Mauritius

Almost 200 years ago, at least one of the two species of Mauritian giant tortoise was recorded for the last time on Round Island. They disappeared from the mainland in 1735 but somehow managed to survive here, seemingly unnoticed, for over 100 years.

The giant tortoises carried out the important role of seed disperses within the ecosystem. By consuming the fruits of native trees they, in the process, helped the seeds to germinate as they passed through their gut, eventually pooing them out further away from the adult tree.

In my latest video I give an introduction to the work I am doing here in Mauritius by telling the story of the long gone Mauritian giant tortoises and introduce the Seychelles Aldabra giant tortoises that are here to restore the ecosystem services that have been lost.


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