Chelonoidis vicina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Testudines Testudinidae

Scientific Name: Chelonoidis vicina (Günther, 1875)
Common Name(s):
English Cerro Azul Giant Tortoise, Iguana Cove Giant Tortoise
Spanish Tortuga Gigante de Cerro Azul
Chelonoidis nigra ssp. vicina (Günther, 1875)
Chelonoidis vicina ssp. vicina (Günther, 1875)
Geochelone elephantopus ssp. vicina (Günther, 1875)
Geochelone nigra ssp. vicina (Günther, 1875)
Testudo vicina Günther, 1875
Taxonomic Source(s): Fritz, U. and Havas, P. 2007. Checklist of chelonians of the world. Vertebrate Zoology 57(2): 149-368.
Taxonomic Notes: The previous Red List assessments for Galapagos tortoises treated the various allopatric island populations as subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra, as did several authors (Pritchard 1996; Caccone et al. 1999; Beheregaray et al. 2003; Fritz and Havas 2007; TTWG 2007, Rhodin et al. 2008). However, other authors have considered them as full species based on morphology (Bour 1980; Fritts 1983; Ernst and Barbour 1989) and more recently several researchers (Caccone et al. 2002; Russello et al. 2005, 2007; Poulakakis et al. 2008, 2012, 2015; Chiari et al. 2009) have treated most of them as full species based on congruent patterns of mitochondrial and nuclear variation. This elevated species-level taxonomy has been largely accepted by TTWG (2009, 2014) and TEWG (2015) for most phylogenetic lineages of Galapagos tortoises. This Red List assessment therefore now treats C. vicina as a full species, rather than retaining its previous subspecies ranking from earlier Red List assessments.

This widespread taxon from the southern two-thirds of Isabela (Albemarle Island) was previously recognized as one of several valid taxa on that island, including becki Rothschild 1901, microphyes Günther 1875, güntheri Baur 1889 (guntheri Baur in Pritchard 1971a), and vandenburghi DeSola 1930. Pritchard (1996) synonymized microphyesguntheri, and vandenburghi under vicina, and recognized only vicina and becki from Isabela. Ciofi et al. (2006) confirmed a lack of significant genetic distinctiveness between these previously recognized taxa. Previous versions of the IUCN Red List treated these taxa as separate valid subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra (the taxon guntheri was spelled guentheri), but now follows Pritchard (1996) and TTWG (2009, 2014) in recognizing only vicina and becki from Isabela.

This is an amended assessment to accommodate the changes in taxonomy as described above. The amended assessment includes all the references cited above even though most of them post-date the actual date of assessment.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a ver 2.3
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 1996-08-03
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Ecuador (Galápagos)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Citation: Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. 2016. Chelonoidis vicina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T9028A97238881. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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