The Galapogos Tortoise is near extinction, with only a few surviving subspecies. Pirates, sealers, whalers, and merchant sailors slaughtered them until few remained. A few small wild populations still exist on the islands and are protected under law. Several more are found in zoos. On the islands, survival is very difficult because of the foreign species that have been introduced by the sailing ships. Cats and rats ravage the tortoises' nests and feed on the young. Wild goats and pigs also pose a problem by stripping many areas of covering vegetation, so that nests are more easily accessible.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered
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