Galapagos tortoises are endangered species.
These plants are introduced in the Galapagos Island in 1930 and they are spreading very fast. Galapagos tortoises are ingesting these plants and it making half of their diet and it is benefiting the tortoise more than its previous diets.
Stephen Blake, an honorary research scientist at Washington University in St. Louis and Fredy Cabrera of the Charles Darwin Foundation said, “Biodiversity conservation is a huge problem confronting managers on the Galapagos Islands, eradicating the more than 750 species of invasive plants is all but impossible, and even control is difficult. Fortunately, tortoise conservation seems to be compatible with the presence of some introduced species.”
During the past study they found Santa Crux tortoise migrating from low lands to highlands seasonally for food, and it puzzled them, as sailors used to take this animal aboard to long voyages so that they can eat their flesh because this animal can survive for a year without drinking and eating, and so why is this tortoise migrating was the question.
Further research revealed that they were ingesting the introduced plants rather the local plants.
Researchers say they weren’t surprised by the findings.
The findings are published in journal Biotropica.