Chelonoidis duncanensis 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Testudines Testudinidae

Scientific Name: Chelonoidis duncanensis
Species Authority: (Garman in Pritchard, 1996)
Common Name(s):
English Pinzon Giant Tortoise, Duncan Island Giant Tortoise
Chelonoidis nigra ssp. duncanensis (Garman in Pritchard, 1996)
Geochelone elephantopus ssp. ephippium (Günther, 1875)
Geochelone nigra ssp. duncanensis Garman in Pritchard, 1996
Geochelone nigra ssp. ephippium (Günther, 1875)
Testudo elephantopus ssp. ephippium (Günther, 1875)
Testudo ephippium Günther, 1875
Taxonomic Source(s): 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.
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 (Cacconeet 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, but not all, phylogenetic lineages of Galapagos tortoises. This Red List assessment therefore now treats C. duncanensis as a full species, rather than retaining its previous subspecies ranking from earlier Red List assessments.

This taxon appeared on the IUCN Red Lists before 2007 under the name Geochelone nigra ephippium.

This is an amended assessment to accommodate the change 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: Extinct in the Wild 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:
Regionally extinct:
Ecuador (Galápagos)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Bibliography [top]

Beheregaray, L.B., Ciofi, C., Caccone, A., Gibbs, J.P. and Powell, J.R. 2003. Genetic divergence, phylogeography and conservation units of giant tortoises from Santa Cruz and Pinzón, Galápagos Islands. Conservation Genetics 4: 31–46.

Bour, R. 1980. Essai sur la taxinomie des Testudinidae actuels (Reptilia, Chelonii). Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 4(2A): 541–546.

Caccone, A., Gentile, G., Gibbs, J.P., Fritts, T.H., Snell, H.L., Betts, J. and Powell, J.R. 2002. Phylogeography and history of giant Galápagos tortoises. Evolution 56(10): 2052–2066.

Caccone, A., Gibbs, J.P., Ketmaier, V., Suatoni, E. and Powell, J.R. 1999. Origin and evolutionary relationships of giant Galápagos tortoises. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 96: 13223–13228.

Chiari, Y., Hyseni, C., Fritts, T.H., Glaberman, S., Marquez, C., Gibbs, J.P., Claude, J. and Caccone, A. 2009. Morphometrics parallel genetics in a newly discovered and endangered taxon of Galápagos tortoise. PLoS One 4(7): e6272.

Ernst, C.H. and Barbour, R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.

Fritts, T.H. 1983. Morphometrics of Galapagos tortoises: evolutionary implications. In: R.I. Bowman and A.E. Leviton (eds), Patterns of Evolution in Galapagos Organisms, pp. 107–122. AAAS, San Francisco.

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

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Poulakakis, N., Edwards, D.L., Chiari, Y., Garrick, R.C., Russello, M.A., Benavides, E., Watkins-Colwell, G.J., Glaberman, S., Tapia, W., Gibbs, J.P., Cayot, L.J. and Caccone, A. 2015. Description of a new Galapagos giant tortoise species (Chelonoidis; Testudines: Testudinidae) from Cerro Fatal on Santa Cruz Island. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0138779:1–18.

Poulakakis, N., Glaberman, S., Russello, M., Beheregaray, L.B., Ciofi, C., Powell, J.R. and Caccone, A. 2008. Historical DNA analysis reveals living descendants of an extinct species of Galápagos tortoise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: 15464–15469.

Poulakakis, N., Russello, M., Geist, D. and Caccone, A. 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, P.C.H. 1996. The Galápagos Tortoises: Nomenclatural and Survival Status. Chelonian Research Monographs 1: 1-85.

Rhodin, A.G.J., van Dijk, P.P. and Parham, J.P. 2008. Turtles of the world: annotated checklist of taxonomy and synonymy. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(1): 000.1-38.

Russello, M.A., Beheregaray, L.B., Gibbs, J.P., Fritts, T., Havill, N., Powell, J.R. and Caccone, A. 2007. Lonesome George is not alone among Galápagos tortoises. Current Biology 17(9): R317–R318.

Russello, M.A., Glaberman, S., Gibbs, J.P., Marquez, C., Powell, J.R. and Caccone, A. 2005. A cryptic taxon of Galápagos tortoise in conservation peril. Biological Letters 1: 287–290.

TEWG [Turtle Extinctions Working Group: Rhodin, A.G.J., Thomson, S., Georgalis, G., Karl, H.-V., Danilov, I.G., Takahashi, A., de la Fuente, M.S., Bourque, J.R., Delfino, M., Bour, R., Iverson, J.B., Shaffer, H.B. and van Dijk, P.P.]. 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 5(8): 000e.1–66.

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.

Citation: Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. 2016. Chelonoidis duncanensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T9021A97226429. . Downloaded on 22 October 2016.
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