Chelonoidis hoodensis (Van Denburgh, 1907)

Hood Island giant tortoise, Española giant tortoise, Tortuga Gigante de Española



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Reintroduced to the wild (Smith et al., 2023)

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)


Distribution & Habitat

Española Island (=Hood Island), Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


Anatomy & Morphology



Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Van Denburgh, J. (1907). Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to the Galapagos Islands, 1905-1906. I. Preliminary descriptions of four new races of gigantic land tortoises from the Galapagos Islands. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 1(4): 1-6.


Other references:

Cayot, L. J., Gibbs, J. P., Tapia, W. and Caccone, A. (2017). Chelonoidis hoodensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T9024A82777079. Accessed on 27 February 2024.

Fritz, U. and Havas, P. (2007). Checklist of chelonians of the world. Vertebrate Zoology 57(2): 149-368.

Gibbs, J. P., Hunter, E. A., Shoemaker, K. T., Tapia, W. H. and Cayot, L. J. (2014). Demographic outcomes and ecosystem implications of Giant Tortoise reintroduction to Española Island, Galapagos. PLoS ONE 9(10): e110742.

Márquez, C., Morillo, G. and Cayot, L. J. (1991). A 25-year management program pays off: repatriated tortoises on Española reproduce. Noticias Galapagos 51: 17-18.

Smith, Donal et al. (2023). Extinct in the wild: The precarious state of Earth’s most threatened group of species. Science 379(6634): eadd2889.

Tapia, W., Goldspiel, H. B. and Gibbs, J. P. (2022). Introduction of giant tortoises as a replacement “ecosystem engineer” to facilitate restoration of Santa Fe Island, Galapagos. Restor. Ecol. 30: e13476.

TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group: Bickham, J.W., Iverson, J.B., Parham, J.F., Philippen, H.D., Rhodin, A.G.J., Shaffer, H.B., Spinks, P.Q. and van Dijk, P.P.]. 2007. An annotated list of modern turtle terminal taxa with comments on areas of taxonomic instability and recent change. In: H.B. Shaffer, N.N. FitzSimmons, A. Georges, and A.G.J. Rhodin (eds), Defining Turtle Diversity: Proceedings of a Workshop on Genetics, Ethics, and Taxonomy of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises. Chelonian Research Monographs 4: 173-199.

TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group: Rhodin, A.G.J., Parham, J.F., van Dijk, P.P. and Iverson, J.B.]. 2009. Turtles of the world: annotated checklist of taxonomy and synonymy, 2009 update, with conservation status summary. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(2): 000.39-84.

TTWG [Turtle Taxonomy Working Group: van Dijk, P.P., Iverson, J.B., Rhodin, A.G.J., Shaffer, H.B. and Bour, R.]. (2014). Turtles of the world, 7th edition: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution with maps, and conservation status. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(7): 000.329-479, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014. 


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