01 May '11, 8am

Ile aux Aigrettes rewilding experiment reports success

Ile aux Aigrettes rewilding experiment reports success

Researchers at the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences report that aftert ten years, introduced tortoises served as ''effective seed dispersers'' for regrowing an endangered tree species in Mauritius' Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve. Beginning in 2000, 18 adult and sub adult Giant Aldabran Tortoises were brought to the island of Ile aux Aigrettes in an effort to save and regrow the island's endangered ebony forest. The tortoises were expected to function in place of the native giant tortoise species that became extinct in the 1800s. That is, they would eat the ebony fruits and then the seeds would be dispersed when they passed them out in their stools. True enough, the researchers found that most of the ripe fruits that fall from the trees are eaten, and seedlings are growing in places used as toilets by the tortoises. The ''rewilding'' strategy worked, ...

Full article: http://www.earthtimes.org/conservation/ile-aux-aigrettes-...

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