Galapagos Islands

Pinzon Island: Its Road to Recovery

Pinzon Island, also called Duncan Island, marks the geographical center of the Galapagos Islands. It has a large marine tortoise reserve but no human population. This island have been recovering since last century from a rat infestation. Read on so you can learn about how this island has began to recover.

An infestation of non-native rats began in the mid 18th century with the arrival of European sailors, which decimated the Tortoise population on this island, because the rats began to eat the turtle’s their eggs and young hatchlings, which were not able to defend themselves. However, due to extensive rat eradication and Tortoise conservation, several hatchling tortoises were seen again in 2014 for the first time in over a hundred years. This was the proof of ecological recovery.

The status of the Pinzon’s tortoise population resulted in the start of the Santa Cruz Tortoise Center in 1965, where the first eggs of Pinzón tortoises were transported to complete their incubation. They were then reared in captivity for later release on Pinzon Island once they a reasonable size. This program is run now by the Galapagos National Park Directorate, that  returned approximately one thousand young tortoises to the island.

Pinzon Island is home to giant Galapagos tortoises, Galapagos sea lions, nesting Blue-Footed Boobies, Frigate Birds, Galapagos dove, Marine Iguanas, Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos Sharks, White-tip Sharks, Large Rays, Dolphins, Pelagic and Reef Fish. Also, a potentially new endemic species of land snail was discovered. Recently an increase in the populations of lava lizards was registered.


The restoration of Pinzon Island continues to rebuild the Pinzon tortoise population, which includes continuing the captive rearing program to help increase the population so that it will grow naturally. However, aside from its historic background, the island offers stunning underwater wildlife, which makes it the perfect spot to snorkel and scuba dive. If you are looking to visit this island, there are many tours available to so do from Puerto Ayora, where our hotel is located. Contact us today to place your reservation, this way you’ll enjoy from what the Galapagos has to offer.

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