Lock Up Your Tortoise

  • Henry Nicholls
Part of the Macmillan Science book series (MACSCI)


‘iMuerte al Solitario Jorge!’ — ‘Death to Lonesome George!’ chanted the pepineros. In January 1995, when the sea cucumber fishermen took over the offices of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), they threatened to butcher its animals. The emblematic Lonesome George was the target of their most violent threats. He had unwittingly become a pawn in an ongoing tussle between conservationists and fishermen.


Great Barrier Reef Marine Reserve Park Service Ethiopian Wolf Galapagos Marine Reserve 
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Notes and sources

  1. Sea cucumber biology: Chantal Conand, personal communication; Verónica Toral-Granda, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  2. Sea cucumber fishery: MacFarland and Cifuentes (1996); Okey et al.Google Scholar
  3. (2004); Shepherd et al. (2004); Altamirano et al. (2005); Hearn et al.Google Scholar
  4. (2005); Toral-Granda and Martinez (2005); Toral-Granda (2005)Google Scholar
  5. Graham Edgar, personal communication; Toral-Granda, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  6. ‘If I had been born in the Guasmo of Guayaquil …’: Merlen (1993)Google Scholar
  7. ‘As the islanders saw that a three-man crew …’: D’Orso (2003)Google Scholar
  8. ‘It is a classic case of a group of relatively poor people …’: Powell and Gibbs (1995)Google Scholar
  9. ‘It started with them just sitting on the front steps …’: Linda Cayot, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  10. ‘Hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Ecuadorians …’: Valle (1994)Google Scholar
  11. Isabela fire: Marquez et al. (1994); Novak (1994); Powell and Gibbs (1995)Google Scholar
  12. Tortoise killings: Cayot and Lewis (1994); Cayot, personal communication; Jim Pinson, see
  13. ‘The destruction caused by the fire …’: Wikelski (1995) Details of unrest during 1995: Chantal Blanton, Verónica Toral-Granda and Linda Cayot, personal communication; Jim Pinson’s archived emails, see
  14. ‘Certainly sea cucumber fishermen …’: Cayot, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  15. ’sustainable use of the natural resources by the local population: Anon. (1995) Insurrection in Galápagos, Galápagos Conservation Trust Newsletter, autumnGoogle Scholar
  16. ‘No country in the world allows treasures …’: Barry (1995)Google Scholar
  17. ‘We are prepared to take extreme steps …’: Velíz (1995)Google Scholar
  18. ‘They had come to take him by force …’: Pinson’s archived emailsGoogle Scholar
  19. ‘We were asked to leave all personal belongings’: Toral-Granda, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  20. ‘We had to make sure the baby iguanas …’: Toral-Granda, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  21. ‘It allows us to begin discussions about sustainability …’: Watkins, personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  22. Ivory markets in Europe: Martin and Stiles (2005)Google Scholar
  23. Sariska Tiger Reserve: Narain et al. (2005)Google Scholar
  24. Elephant-human conflicts: Osborn and Parker (2002, 2003) ‘Elephants hate chilli’: see
  25. Ethiopian wolf: Claudio Sillero, personal communication; see
  26. Infierno Community Ecotourism Project: Stronza (2000)Google Scholar
  27. Direct payment for conservation: Balmford and Whitten (2003); Ferraro and Kiss (2002); Ferraro and Simpson (2003)Google Scholar
  28. Direct payment for Costa Rican forests: see Malavasi and Kellenberg (2002)Google Scholar
  29. Tragedy of the commons: Hardin (1968)Google Scholar
  30. Guadalupe River confiscations in 1997: Vargas (1997)Google Scholar
  31. Belle Vie shooting on 19 March 1997: Cruz (1997a, 1997b)Google Scholar
  32. San Cristóbal raid on 28 December 2003: Anon. (2003) 15,933 Sea Cucumbers found in San Cristóbal, Galápagos Conservation Trust,
  33. Cargo ship in March 2004: Anon. (2004) In Galápagos the trade in sea cucumbers goes on, Galapagos Conservation Trust,
  34. Political instability: see Anon. (2004) Quick exit for Galápagos director. Science, 306(5694), 225Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Henry Nicholls 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Nicholls

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