Experience the life of a Galapagos tortoise with the new webcams

Dec 12, 2017

For a relatively small and isolated set of islands in the deep Pacific, the Galapagos holds a big place in the world’s imagination. Of course, there is the association with Darwin and evolution, which gives it an extra significance in the scientific community. But it is perhaps the unique plant and animal life that really makes it stand out from the world.

The islands’ most famous residents are the endemic Galapagos tortoise population. These charming and charismatic animals are renowned for their longevity and friendliness. And now for the first time, you can see what it is like to be an actual Galapagos tortoise, thanks to four web cameras that have been set up to capture their movements and daily routines.

The four cameras are located at the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. They focus on some of the tortoise corrals at the center, broadcasting to the world through the magic of the internet.

Thanks to the isolated position of the Galapagos, connectivity isn’t always 100% so rather than going out live, the footage is compiled into daily highlights reels for the best quality experience for the viewer. It is selected using automatic movement detection so that you get to see all the best bits when the tortoises are on the move.
 

Thanks to the isolated position of the Galapagos, connectivity isn’t always 100% so rather than going out live, the footage is compiled into daily highlights reels for the best quality experience for the viewer. It is selected using automatic movement detection so that you get to see all the best bits when the tortoises are on the move.

The cameras focus mainly on the juvenile and adult corrals. The junior Galapagos tortoise corral captures hatchlings to two-year-olds when they are looked after and given all the protection they need. After about two years, they are moved into adaptation corrals, where they are exposed to more typical Galapagos tortoise terrain, including lava and the chance to feed on natural vegetation. After four to five years, many of these tortoises are repatriated to their island of origin.

The adult corral cares for the many tortoises that were removed from the islands during the 1960s when the world was keen to get a glimpse and when people wanted to keep them as pets. Despite the good intentions, this wasn’t fair to the tortoises, and so most have now been brought back to the islands. As it was initially not possible to tell which island they originated from (there are many different species of Galapagos tortoise from the individual islands) until DNA testing was possible, many of the tortoises were too old to repatriate and it was decided to keep them at the center. Despite having lived for decades, these tortoises still get up to all sorts, as the cameras show.

So, while you’re waiting for your own adventure aboard vessels like the Galapagos Odyssey, why not get in the mood by checking in with the Galapagos tortoise cam every now and then?
 

Take a look of these tour programs:

1. Peru Tour: Cusco, Sacred Valley and Arequipa Tour
2. Wildlife Tour: Amazon Cultural tour
3. Galapagos Land Tour: Nine days Galapagos Tour
4. Galapagos Cruise Itinerary:  Seven Days Luxury Boat Western Islands Expedition
5. Central Islands Itinerary: Amazing Nine Days East & Central Islands Boat Journey

Andre Robles
Andre Robles
Andre Robles is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first
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