Chelonoidis sp. nov. 'Santa Fé'

Santa Fé Island tortoise (proposed)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Geochelone nigra/niger ssp. nov. 'Santa Fé'


The validity of this undescribed (sub)species is highly disputed, however it is recognised by (TEWG et al. 2015).


Conservation Status

Extinct if valid

Last record: c. 1890 (Pritchard, 1996)



Santa Fé Island (=Barrington Island), Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


Biology & Ecology










Aguilera, Washington Tapia et al. (2020). Santa Fe Island: Return of tortoises via a replacement species, pp. 483-499. In: Gibbs, James P., Cayot, Linda J. and Aguilera, Washington Tapia (eds.). Galapagos Giant Tortoises: A volume in Biodiversity of World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes. Academic Press. [Abstract]

MacFarland, Craig G., Villa, José and Toro, Basilio. (1974). The Galápagos giant tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus) part II: conservation methods. Biological Conservation 6(2): 198-212.

Poulakakis, N. et al. (2012). Unravelling the peculiarities of island life: vicariance, dispersal, and the diversification of the extinct and extant giant Galápagos tortoises. Molecular Ecology 21: 160-173.

Pritchard, Peter Charles Howard. (1996). The Galapagos tortoises: nomenclatural and survival status. Chelonian Research Foundation.

Regalado, Pedro Galán. (2015). Los Anfibios y Reptiles Extinguidos: Herpetofauna Desaparecida Desde el Año 1500. Monografías de la Universidade da Coruña 155: 1-509.

Steadman, David W., Stafford, Thomas W. Jnr., Donahue, Douglas J. and Jull, A. J. Timothy. (1991). Chronology of Holocene vertebrate extinction in the Galápagos Islands. Quaternary Research 36(1): 126-133.

Swingland, I.R. (1989). Geochelone elephantopus. Galapagos giant tortoises. In: Swingland I.R. and Klemens M.W. (eds.) The conservation biology of tortoises. Occasional Papers of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), No. 5, pp. 24–28. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.

Townsend, C. H. (1925). The Galapagos tortoises in their relation to the whaling industry: a study of old logbooks. Zoologica 4(3): 55-135.

Turtle Extinctions Working Group et al. (2015). Turtles and Tortoises of the World During the Rise and Global Spread of Humanity: First Checklist and Review of Extinct Pleistocene and Holocene Chelonians. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5: 1-66.

Van Denburgh, J. (1914). The gigantic land tortoises of the Galapagos archipelago. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Series 42(1): 203-374.


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