“Patience” - Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Acrylic on Canvas, 48" x 30" x 1.5"
Original Painting: $5,500.00
Ready-to-Hang, Limited Edition Archival Metal Print: $1,100.00
Time to Completion: 6 Months
Amount of Paint: 86 Ounces
Custom sizes and materials available for prints. Inquire here.
Human Impacts Resulting in Protected Status:
European sailors stopped in the Madagascar and Seychelles islands to rest and replenish their food stores during their long journeys. They would hunt and either eat or keep live tortoises in their ship’s cargo holds. Many of the Giant Tortoises faced extinction by 1840. The Aldabra Giant Tortoise is thought to be the last known surviving species of 18 species of Giant Tortoises found on the Madagascar and Seychelles Islands.
Species Introduction and Climate Change:
Eggs and hatchlings are sought after as prey by non-native species, such as cats, pigs and rats. This hampers the wild Aldabra Tortoise population from growing, making the Tortoise dependent on human-assisted breeding efforts.
Coinciding with rising sea levels, it is believed the islands that form the natural habitat areas for the Aldabra Giant Tortoise will become submerged.
The Aldabra Giant Tortoise was one of the first animals to receive official protection. Notable conservationists, such as Charles Darwin petitioned Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, Governor of Mauritius to create a protected breeding population on Mauritius. Charles Darwin also worked with Lord Walter Rothschild to lease the Aldabra Atoll and create a conservation strategy for the remaining Aldabra Tortoises.
In the early 1900’s, the Seychelles government set forth conservation efforts to protect the remaining Aldabra Giant Tortoises. They also set forth an international agreement that restricted trade. The Aldabra Giant Tortoise is now listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Since the notable extinction of the various Tortoise species in the 1800’s, there have been rumors that there are survivors of the over-exploitation, such as the Seychelles Granitic Island Tortoise. The rumors stemmed from reports of oddly-shaped captive tortoises, which then prompted the Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles to examine the genetic identity of these possible survivors, as well as comparing them to museum specimens. It has been confirmed that these tortoises are different genetically, but it is not clear if there is enough difference in their genetics to call them a different species. If the Seychelles Granitic Island Tortoise are not proven to be a different species than the Aldabra Tortoise, then they will continue to be of the Aldabra Tortoise taxonomy and will not receive unique and immediate conservation efforts.
Profits will go to The Island Conservation Society, which promotes the conservation and restoration of island ecosystems, sustainable development of islands, and awareness of their vulnerability and vital importance to the planet’s biodiversity in the Seychelles and other outer islands.
Island Biodiversity, 2017
Wildscreen Arkive, 2017
Saint Louis Zoo, 2017