Talk:Pinta Island tortoise

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Name change[edit]

Neccessary- maybe should be called by species namec] IF you need to tell me something - Like that's gonna happen 15:19, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree! This page should be renamed in Abingdon Island Tortoise, the common name of its subspecies, and the part of the last survivor "Lonesome George" can be placed into a separate section on that page. Peter Maas\talk 15:37, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I dunno, so far it seems that George by himself accounts for that entire species and all information about it... Although the change is feasible, I don't think it's really necessary--Crazydrunkhobo —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:35, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

I agree that the name shouldn't be changed. A species or subspecies refers to a group of animals. In this case there's only one. - 15:34, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

True, but the part of Lonesome George could be intergrated into the subspecies' article. Peter Maas\talk 16:57, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with User:Perlnerd666 and Peter Maas...the article should be titled Abingdon Island Tortoise and Lonesome George can be a separate header within the article. Considering that there is species information, such as "Extinct in the Wild"-- and this certainly does not apply to George, but his species...User:Bob the Wikipedian75.16.244.219 00:48, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Poor George. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:40, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Hmm well say, for example, we were going to talk about a famous person, we wouldn't place them in the human article and discuss them there. Likewise, we wouldn't talk about humans in an article about a famous person either. I think that there should be two seperate articles.--Stikman 21:05, 10 October 2007 (UTC) Name should be changed for sure. Funkynusayri (talk) 15:10, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

New picture?[edit]

Hey guys, there are tons of better pictures of George on the net. Maybe we should get a new one, the one that's already there kind of sucks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Fact Check[edit]

At the bottom of the external links section is the following sentence. "The Tortoise is no longer endangered because of a massive orgy at the New York zoo the endangered tortoise is safe." Aside from horrid grammar, this seems to have no bearing on the External Links section, it needs citation, and it seems to have no factual content. Could someone either delete this sentence, or verify, cite, and move it to a proper location? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:08, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

When you see obvious vandalism simply delete it and in the comments section note you are deleting possible vandalism. No need to ask for a consensus if it's is as obvious as what you quoted!LiPollis (talk) 15:49, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

New news on Lonesome George...[edit]

Abingdon Island Tortoise[edit]

I would like to move this page to Abingdon Island Tortoise it is currently a redirect and I cannot find any reason why it is listed by its scientific name. ZooPro 10:21, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

My vote would be back to Lonesome George, since it is the most notable --Michael C. Price talk 10:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
That is true, ideally i would like two articles one on the species and one on the individual but they are unfortunatly one in the same. I might do one about the species in my sandbox and move this article to "Lonesome George". ZooPro 11:05, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I have done a quick google search and this is how many hits each got.

  1. Pinta Island Tortoise - 508,000 hits
  2. Abingdon Island Tortoise - 74,000 hits
  3. Lonesome George - 307,000 hits

So logicaly it would be best to move the article to Pinta Island Tortoise. ZooPro 23:36, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Furthermore this article only provides information on the individual instead of the species. I think two articles would be better. ZooPro 23:45, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
The trouble with "Pinta Island Tortoise" is there will soon be lots of them.GC News: Team of Veterinarians Prepare Hybrid Tortoises for Release on Pinta Island in 2010. --Michael C. Price talk 05:56, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Mystery of the Males[edit]

In this programme it was mentioned that only the skeletons of males were discovered on the island in potholes. This is somewhat peculiar because if the "recent" males died in potholes, then what about the older males or females?

The programme raises a question of how can it be that all of the surviving tortoises on the island were male. One possible answer is that when all of the living tortoises had been captures, killed eaten, shipped off, etc that there would have been some eggs hidden in the ground still. A single batch or two could be all of one sex because the incubation temperature can determine the sex. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:52, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Tense & Spelling[edit]

Please pick the correct tense (was vs is).

Paragraph 2 "George was penned with two females of a different subspecies..."
Reproduction attempts Section "George is penned with two females of a different subspecies..."

Also doesn't recognize purebreed as a word, throughout this article we see "purebred", "purebreed", and "pure breed". (talk) 13:43, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Also "was and is". And "pure-breed". --Michael C. Price talk 16:32, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

New news article- Not sure how to implement[edit]

I came across this new news article about Lonesome George. It says that he is supposedly "nearly 100" years old, and states that they have found some potentially better (more compatible) candidates for mating. See here: Alhanalem (talk) 20:20, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Do you mean you don't know how to generate the reference for the article? If so, does this help?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:11, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
No, i'm more referring to how this information might be integrated into the article.Alhanalem (talk) 00:25, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Have added a sentence or two in the article. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 00:52, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Only half the same genes ?[edit]

"Researchers have identified one male tortoise from the Volcano Wolf region of neighboring Galápagos island of Isabela which has half his genes in common with George's subspecies"

So humans have 98% the same genes in common with chimpanzees, but the Pinta Island tortoise George has only half his genes in common with the Isabella Island tortoise which is thought to have a Pinta Island parent ??? I call B/S on that.Eregli bob (talk) 04:55, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I presume it means that he has half of the genes that distinguish one sub-species from the other - which is what you'd expect for a cross-bred tortoise. But you're right. Humans share more than 50% of their genes with bacteria - and a giraffe would have "half his genes in common with George's subspecies" if we were to read it literally. The article should be much clearer on this point. SteveBaker (talk) 14:04, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Indeed microsatellites, for which the very loosely applied term "gene" here refers, are selected for studies such as this so that they are different between two (sub)species investigated, so the closeness between the two species studied is of no relevance. Having 50% of George's microsatellites would suggest that this individual is a hybrid between him or one of his close relatives and another subspecies. I agree that the text could be clearer, but I'm not sure how to best write it Sophronitis (talk) 14:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Death of Lonesome George - as reported by El Comercio & El Universo (papers in Ecuador).[edit]

Goodnight sweet prince. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Regarding "citation needed" - on web cite #19 from El Comercio paragraph #3, first line states "Naula estima que el fallecimiento se debió a un paro del corazón, propio de que la tortuga ya habría cumplido su ciclo de vida."

This translates to: Naula estimated that the death was due to a stoppage of the heart, as the turtle would have already fulfilled their life cycle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcrt5150 (talkcontribs) 03:36, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Any reason a page from 2008 is used to source a 2012 death?[edit]

My computer is apparently not hip enough for Flash player 10, so I can't watch the video and be sure this makes no sense. Confirm? Deny? InedibleHulk (talk) 11:13, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Propose "Decline" section.[edit]

Or something similarly titled. Per WP:LEDE, all lead info should be detailed in the body of the article, not just hinted at. As it stands, it starts by talking about goats and revegetation. A reader skipping the lead may (and did, in my case) wonder "What goats? Grass was missing?" It's easy enough to check the lead, but it shouldn't be necessary. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:19, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Missing information[edit]

Though this article is mainly about Lonesome George I am missing information about the discovery of this subspecies and the role of Rollo Beck in the extinction of this subspecies. Also I am missing a comprehensive description --Melly42 (talk) 13:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

I'd also like to see some discussion of what makes this sub-species different from the others. I believe (although I'm no expert) that the high front to the shell allowed them to reach higher in search of food (which was the lower parts of tree-cactii) - where all of the other sub-species find their food on the ground - and can therefore gain more protection not having that raised part behind the neck.
Also, is it true to say that this is a sub-species rather than a full species? The failure of efforts to cross-breed George with females of similar species might suggest that interbreeding was impossible...which would mean that we lost an entire species here. SteveBaker (talk) 13:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Best eveidence is that they are only sbspecies, Lonsome George was an adult when found in 1971, his actual age is a guess and he may be older. Attempts to cross breed him did not occur until around 2000, he may have been too old, may have been just plain unsuccessful, this does not prove genetic incompatibility. Unless some evidence of genetic incompatibility is produced I would say they will all remain subspecies of C. nigra. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 16:36, 25 June 2012 (UTC)


George recently died, but how old was he? Mazarin07 (talk) 13:50, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

About 100 according to some sources. Some toroises like Adwaita lived to over 200. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:55, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Farewell George, Taken from us far too early. Thank you for all those appearances on One Foot in the Grave (It was you wasn't it) Richard Avery (talk) 14:46, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 1[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Moved and moved again.  Ryan Vesey Review me! 21:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)(non-admin closure)

Pinta Island tortoiseChelonoidis nigra abingdoni – Reversal of move made recently(5 hours ago) due to recent edit that with unsourced change of article name. The article could have multiple names: Abingdon Island tortoise,[1] Abingdon Island giant tortoise, Pinta giant tortoise[2] and Pinta Island tortoise[citation needed], but according to WP:COMMONNAME and WP:FNAME if the common name is ambiguous, use the scientific name. This article naming is on the the main page in ITN, so maybe a more faster close could be in order! Regards, SunCreator (talk) 15:00, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

I would support this change, the names of the various Galapagos tortoises have long been ambiguous, many were originally named for the English names of the islands and later changed to the Spanish names after Ecuador took over the islands, all the populations have several common names, somewhat equally used. This is one case where a series of redirects for common name would be better served pointing to the one consistent name of abingdoni. As an addit I think the book: Pritchard, Peter Charles Howard (1996). The Galapagos tortoises: nomenclatural and survival status. Chelonian Research Foundation. ISBN 0-9653540-0-8. cited on the page on Galapagos tortoises is a reference for the name Pinta Island Tortoise. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 16:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


  1. ^ Chelonoidis nigra ssp. abingdoni IUCN Redlist
  2. ^ Rhodin, Anders G.J.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Inverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Roger, Bour (2011-12-31). "Turtles of the world, 2011 update: Annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution and conservation status". Chelonian Research Monographs. 5: 000.xx. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-01-22. 

Extinct in the Wild?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Consensus has emerged that either "extinct" or "possibly extinct" is acceptable as long as status_system is left blank so that it is not attributed to IUCN. --ThaddeusB (talk) 16:17, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Should the taxobox list this tortoise as Extinct in the Wild or as extinct? Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:29, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Why are people insisting that the Pinta Island Tortoise is still EW? Lonesome George is dead, we should presume the species to be extinct completely until a new discovery occurs. --TangoFett (talk) 16:16, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict)I see there's something of an edit war forming over this. I fail to see how an animal in captivity dying can affect it's status in the wild. If was extinct in the wild and now it is extinct in captivity it must be extinct in totality. Crispmuncher (talk) 16:18, 25 June 2012 (UTC).

Because of another possible specimen in a zoo(not in the wild), per Pinta_Island_tortoise#At_Prague_Zoo Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, that last go-round was my mistake. Got lost in the to-ing and fro-ing Crispmuncher (talk) 16:20, 25 June 2012 (UTC).
The official listing for C. nigra abindoni is EW from the IUCN, which is generally what we use, although that has clearly changed now with the death of Lonsome George, it will take some time for the IUCN to update this. They meet only every year and do not cover all species each year. Last time the TFTSG discussed the status of Turtles was in 2009 they do sections of it at a time. I am sure when they next get around to this group they will update the status. Listing it as Ex would be of no harm though in my view. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 16:40, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
No source to say it's extinct according to the IUCN 2.3 system so it really shouldn't be changed in the infobox per WP:V. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:48, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Using any specific source is by definition a lagging indicator in that it takes time for the source to be updated. We have plenty of sources describing Lonesome George as the last of his kind, plenty of sources that state he has died and indeed plenty of sources confirming the extinction. That you choose to consult an out of date reference does not alter that. Crispmuncher (talk) 16:54, 25 June 2012 (UTC).
The IUCN source states that it "needs updating". CNN states that the last of the pinta island tortoises died. If nobody has any objections, or a better source, I'll add the CNN citation in addition to IUCN one. On a related note, the source also stated that "at least one first-generation descendant of the subspecies has been found". Should that be added? Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:00, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
The infobo specifically refers to the IUCN Conservation status. No source gives that as EX-extinct and it is orignal research to state otherwise. It's true that Wikipedia can be out of date because of lack of relevate reliable sources but if you are unhappy with that then take it up on the policy pages. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:06, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I encourage everyone to read Pinta_Island_tortoise#At_Prague_Zoo and the resulting reference to see why the IUCN status may not change as a result of Lonesome George's death. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
The source is from Skeptic magazine which makes me a bit wary. Doesn't that make it a fringe theory? There is a wide range of reliable sources that state that the tortoise is extinct. Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:17, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Show me a policy page mandating use of the IUCN listing. There isn't one as far as I can see. There a reference to the list under the taxobox documentation but that reads as being purely informational as opposed to definitive or even advisory in nature and in any event that is a guideline, as the heading states, "Use common sense when applying it." The Prague Zoo case does not alter anything: it has not been confirmed as one and is not a new development. The fact that published reliable sources discount it means that we do to. If updated, published, reliable sources describe the species as extinct we do too. No such source offering a contrary position has been offered so it is doing anything else that is original research. Crispmuncher (talk) 17:22, 25 June 2012 (UTC).
The IUCN Images like the one on the right
Status iucn2.3 EW.svg
are for use by the IUCN references used by the {{taxobox}} from the documentation Template:Taxobox/doc. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:39, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
When the status is changed to "EX" for example the Category:IUCN Red List extinct species is added, this is original reasearch when an IUCN source is not used.. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:47, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Where does Wikipedia:No original research state that when CNN states that a species is extinct, and we say the same, that it is original research? You have repeatedly stated that this is original research, what leads you to believe that? Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
When it is said via the taxobox that "IUCN says this is extinct" but the cnn source says "we say it's extinct", it's a case of referring 'to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist' that is original research. 18:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I specifically referred to the template documentation above: it doesn't state anything of the sort. It cites the IUCN list as a possible source of information, nothing more. Even if you interpret that as definitive which seems to be stretching things, the common sense provision and IAR kick. We have reliable sources that the subspecies is extinct. That is enough. Crispmuncher (talk) 18:10, 25 June 2012 (UTC).
The taxobox used the IUCN graphic and adds the IUCN specific matching category, i.e Category:IUCN Red List extinct species. The source required is for an IUCN one. The IUCN statsu could be published in many sourced but two places normal for turtles, is on the IUCN website or from there published material Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:16, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

I have to take into account the way the IUCN Status box works, Suncreator is right, in that section it must remain as per the official list of the IUCN, keep an eye on it they may change it quickly as its a fairly simple change. Hybrids only are still extinct, as they only consider pure form, and it takes some 200 generations to breed out impure genes, which would take 400years to do with Galaps. I think mention in text we can make the statement that the status has changed with Lonesome Georges death, but the IUCN Box needs to say what the IUCN says, which is EW. I am not reverting it myself because this is bordering on an edit war. However, my recommendation is to change it back to EW and then protect it for a while. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 17:21, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
On the topic of edit warring, I put in a request for page protection; however, I'm not sure if that is the best solution. This is likely to be a highly edited page. I wouldn't be opposed to blocks for edit warring to anybody who changes the status before this is decided. I am adding an RfC tag to this. Personally, I find it ridiculous for Wikipedia to list this as Extinct in the Wild rather than Extinct in the face of a large number of reliable sources, especially when IUCN self-identifies that it is outdated. Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:29, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I would leave it unprotected else it will be protected incorrectly. The Main page has now been adjusted to remove the claim about it being extinct so I expect less edit warring going forward. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I would like to leave it unprotected, but there have been 50+ edits today already on this page, and clearly not agreement. I am sending a request to the IUCN to update their status, I am a member of this organisation, but I dont have anything to do with the Red List website. Under the circumstances they may do it. In the meantime I feel the IUCN Redlist section of the taxobox should agree with the IUCN redlist. We can always add text to the main article to discuss the changes. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 17:48, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
SunCreator, I find you to be the most significant POV pusher on this page right now. You most recently removed Category:Extinctions since 1500. I understand that you disagree with the Conservation status due to the outdated IUCN material; however, its extinction has been stated by numerous reliable sources. Please refrain from modifying extinction information prior to a decision on this RFC. As you may note, I have made no edits to this page as a result of the discussion taking place here. Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:52, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Just an addit, the reason the IUCN redlist identifies this subspecies as outdated is because they have not been assessed since 1996, not because Lonesome Georges is now dead. The tortoises are in need of review, but this takes time, The Redlist is dealing with a lot of species and there are only so many of us with the data to write the accounts. I have made requests for them to consider updating this category. But this will take a little time. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 17:59, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I certainly understand that it will take some time, but I see no reason for Wikipedia to include information that is incorrect while we wait for IUCN to update its information. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:04, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry you think removal of WP:OR is POV pushing. If you look on Category:Extinctions since 1500 you can see this is for World Conservation Union now IUCN extinctions something there is no current source for. Same goes for Category:IUCN Red List extinct species but it is all tied into the workings of the {{taxobox}}. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:03, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok I just recieved an email from the Chair of the IUCN TFTSG (Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Lonsome George died just 4 days after the deadline for the Red List 2012.2 update. However, they are having a meeting on the Galapagos Tortoises in two weeks and its likely that a proposal to change the status will be drafted there. It will however take several months to get through the IUCN process. Contrary to what they have done in the past, they are seriously considering not listing the subspecies as extinct because of the individuals carying marker genes for the Pinta population that were found on Volcan Wolf. So they may not get an EX listing in any case. I did mention to them the difficulties this was causing to us and the Chair of the Committee's response was "For now, it would be nice if Wikipedia contributors would stick with the published Red List and not pre-empt its assessments, only make some casual annotations in the text. ". I am not going to post an email on here but if anyone would like to see the full response I will send it to you individually, please feel free to ask. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 18:35, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Great work User:Faendalimas!. Response as expected from the IUCN. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:43, 25 June 2012 (UTC)


I propose that we list the Pinta Island Tortoise as extinct without including the IUCN information. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:21, 25 June 2012 (UTC)


| status = EX
| status_system =<!-- Please do not replace the IUCN Status information until the status is updated, reliable sources state that this tortoise is extinct, IUCN does not.-->
| status_ref =<ref>{{cite news|last=Jones|first=Bryony|title=Lonesome George, last of the Pinta Island tortoises, dies|url=|accessdate=25 June 2012|newspaper=CNN|date=25 June 2012}}</ref> 
Still fails the IUCN graphic and IUCN category and attributes the IUCN for something they have not said and may not even agree with. May I suggest the extinct issue it kept to the text and the taxobox is left alone. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:29, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually I agree, because you've removed the status_system with "| status_system =" Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:34, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
As per what I wrote above, we cannot pre-empt the IUCN. I am fine with this as long as the IUCN is not mentioned. Some explanation as to why the IUCN status is not being used here may need to be somewhere obvious, otherwise others may just edit it back. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 18:37, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
What would you think of my modification to |status_system= with the hidden note? In addition, should the article mention that IUCN does not label it as extinct? A possible solution could be to to label it extinct in the lead per a source and use {{#tag:ref|TEXT|group=Note}} to mention the IUCN dispute. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:43, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Suggest "Please do not replace the IUCN Status information until a status reference for the IUCN Status is provided, some sources state that this tortoise is extinct, IUCN does not". Tagging as disputed will be required somewhere in the article especially given the IUCN reply above. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 19:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

It seems unreasonable to use an absolute term (extinct) in the infobox, when the text of the article casts doubt on that. Kevin McE (talk) 19:04, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

The "|status = EX" could say anything for example "|status = Extinct but possible remaining individuals, see text" Regards, SunCreator (talk) 19:19, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I have updated the article with a note after the section that it is believed to be extinct. I'll also be removing the IUCN information from the taxobox for the time being because it is blatantly false to state that the IUCN states it is extinct if it doesn't. Ryan Vesey Review me! 19:21, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
'blatantly false' You've final seen the light! 718smiley.svg Regards, SunCreator (talk) 19:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it is blatantly false to say that the species is extinct, in fact, the material presented in the article doesn't convince me that the species isn't extinct. Reliable sources state that the species is extinct so I believe the taxobox should as well, in the form I mentioned earlier. The other remaining option would be to replace it with PE; however, I feel that it would be a step in the wrong direction because of the way the parameter formats the response. Sadly, the taxobox doesn't allow us to create a custom message like "possibly extinct". My blatantly false statement is towards referencing it to the IUCN. Ryan Vesey Review me! 19:43, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
If you want you can say "| status = Possibly extinct". Regards, SunCreator (talk) 19:56, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
That's odd, I tried it earlier in a preview and it didn't work. Perhaps custom parameters don't work when |status_system= is filled. Ryan Vesey Review me! 20:06, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
That's correct. Custom parameters don't work when |status_system= is filled. It's from such things that I've come to understand that the IUCN part is intergrated into the taxobox (when a |status_system= is given). Regards, SunCreator (talk) 20:53, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Intra-species hybridisation[edit]

Need a taxonomist here. There are apparently individuals that are a cross between Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni and C.n.becki. These individuals are, one must assume, likely to be fertile. Presumably they are equally members of both subspecies, and therefore fully members of neither. In which case: what are they? As I understand it, a new subspecies cannot be declared to have emerged overnight, so are they simply C.n x, or C.n abingdoni x becki, or C.n ssp.? If they then reproduce within the local population, which must be assumed to be overwhelmingly C n becki, what are the offspring to be described as. Eventually, I guess, we end up with C n becki animals with a small admixture of C n abingdoni DNA. If the genetic material of C.n abingdoni continues within the same species, can the subspecies be genuinely declared "extinct", or is it regarded as somehow "subsumed". As you will guess, this is not my area of expertise. Kevin McE (talk) 18:44, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

I will respond to this as not only am I a taxonomist but also one who has had to work on similar cases. Officially any hybrid no matter how minor is C.n abingdoni x becki, if known the male is listed first, if not known do them in alphabetical order. If you look at my response to the above, the IUCN are considering wether or not to recognise the continued existence of this subspecies in the Volcan Wolf (G. n. becki) population, so I am not sure at this time if they will be declared extinct at all, but they will remain as EW as there are no populations of G. n. abingdoni on Isla Pinta anymore. Also if the populations that have the genes are breeding then the populations are declared as F2+ an F2 generation is the production of young with hybrid parents. Whereas F1 is more like the classic Mule which is sterile. It is a significant difference as it rules out the sterility factor. Hope this helps, Cheers, Faendalimas talk 19:06, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. So if there are C.n abingdoni x becki individuals, even if their C.n abingdoni forebear has died, can C.n abingdoni be declared extinct? Is there some sort of "subsumed" category/status? Kevin McE (talk) 19:29, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
In the past the IUCN has not considered hybrids as valid or useful members of a species, this was the case with the Asiatic Lion where almost all captive individuals in the breeding program were discovered to be hybrids. However, I got word today from the IUCN (see my comment further up) that they are considering not declaring this subspecies extinct because of these hybrids. It would seem that officially the IUCN are likely to continue to list this subspecies as EW and not declare it extinct. But that decision has not yet been made. With modern genetic testing it is easier to identify hybrids and hence use them to work back towards a pure strain, though this would take considerable time in a long lived species. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 19:35, 25 June 2012 (UTC)


I am a little concerned about this. Before I worked on Chelid turtles I did actually work on Galaps, it was a while ago now but among my research I did examine the specimens at Prague Zoo. Although one was a saddleback it could have been a G. n. becki and further on reading the article that was not written by P. C. H. Pritchard it just quoting him saying it was similar to G. n. abingdoni it was actually written by Frank Sulloway who has written many controversial articles in the past. I only have my own views here and hence cannot edit that section without breaching Original Research rules and I am not going to but I do feel that someone should look at whether a magazine called Skeptics is a source worth citing here. Would appreciate some comments here and maybe another editor to look into this. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 20:10, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

I have been thinking a similar thing, it doesn't seem incredibly reliable. This may violate WP:UNDUERyan Vesey Review me! 20:14, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I tend to agree, but would defer to others. Perhaps take the issue to WP:RSN. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 20:51, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
It's reference 8 in the Skeptic article that provides the claim. Ref 8 reads "Peter Pritchard, personal communication, 6 July 2006". "personal communication" is not something that would be considered appropriate on Wikipedia. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 00:31, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Remove per talk? Ryan Vesey Review me! 00:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I would concur with removing it. Increasing the level of the reference by passing it off as a publication when it originates as a pers. comm. does not increase the validity of the argument. Surely if this was substantiated then there would have been a DNA analysis to confirm it. That there has not been would indicate the claims are no that great. Cheers Faendalimas talk 00:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That's what surprised me the most. I felt like they should know, not be uncertain. Ryan Vesey Review me! 00:57, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

According to DNA analysis, the Prague Zoo tortoise was most likely C. n. duncanensis (See data for PRZ01 in Russello et al. 2007). Kaldari (talk) 05:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I rewrote the Prague Zoo section with reliable sources. Kaldari (talk) 06:23, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

finding links to change the Conservation status by the ICUN[edit]

Strongly recommended- I would strongly recommend to find the "ICUN 3.1" link to change the conservation status to extinct with the wide table of the 8 circles with 2 letters in each of then representing different conservation statuses (from EX, (extinct) to LC, (least concern)). I hope everyone knows what i am talking about, and I would strongly recommend someone to verify this. Dominicskywalker (talk) 22:08, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Hello Dominic, the problem is the IUNC hasn't updated their information. A portion of the text of an email sent from IUNC is available in the section Talk:Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni#Extinct in the Wild?. In fact, the IUNC may not be declaring the subspecies extinct. Ryan Vesey Review me! 22:13, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Category: Extinct animals[edit]

Given there seems to be consensus to use 'possibly extinct' and 'believed to have become extinct' is it okay to remove this category that uses an absolute term? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 22:38, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure it should be removed considering that reliable sources currently listing it as extinct. It shouldn't be listed in Category:IUCN Red List extinct species, but that doesn't mean that reliable sources don't describe it as extinct. If we do choose to keep the category, it should be changed to Category:Extinct animals of South America and Category:Extinct reptilesRyan Vesey Review me! 23:15, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:23, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I have modified the category to the ones I proposed for the time being. If editors would like to remove them, I'm still open to discussion. Ryan Vesey Review me! 23:25, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Article Contents--Mostly George, Not Enough About the Species[edit]

It seems like this article should almost simply be titled "Lonesome George," seeing as nearly all of it is about him. If anybody with sufficient knowledge about these tortoises or patience to research (neither of which I have at the moment), please add some information about the actual species, Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni, in addition to the present information about George. --Breakfast221 (talk) 02:43, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Other possible individuals are mentioned, so it is not solely about him. FunkMonk (talk) 02:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The jist of his comment is, this article focuses way too heavily on "Lonesome George" which is correct. In this instance, I don't believe that information on Lonesome George should be removed, and I'm unsure as to whether or not Lonesome Goerge is notable enough for his own article, if the tortoise isn't, then more information needs to be found and added on the species. Ryan Vesey Review me! 02:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's a question of being notable enough, having two separate articles is simply redundant, as he pretty much was the subspecies. FunkMonk (talk) 03:21, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the sentiments but not sure how things could be improved much. A split into two articles is possible(like on the German wikipedia) but the downside is less content in each. A taxonomy section is missing, a range map perhaps. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 08:50, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
A lot of this would be a rehash of Galápagos tortoise, but couldn't we include descriptive information? The Pinta Island information in the "Galápagos tortoise" article could be added to here. Do we know anything about its behaviour? Sorry for not assisting more, I literally know nothing about tortoises.  Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:20, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Species vs. subspecies[edit]

According to several sources—Márquez et al. (2004), Poulakakis et al. (2008), etc.—the Pinta Island tortoise (and the other Galapagos tortoises) are genetically distinct and should be treated as species rather than subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra. In fact, it seems that a large percentage of the recent papers on Galapagos tortoises treat them as separate species (including papers published this year). I don't normally work in turtles, so I don't know what the guidelines on their taxonomic determination are (some WikiProjects stick to certain reference sources to avoid endless conflicts), but I think we should at least mention the fact that many reliable scientific sources consider this a full species. Kaldari (talk) 07:39, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Not something I've encountered with the Galápagos tortoise. Can you flesh out those sources a bit, a title perhaps so we could locate them. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 08:47, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know much about science at all, but given that this is in trinomial, rather than binomial, nomenclature wouldn't that make it a sub-species? Ryan Vesey Review me! 12:42, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Correct. 'trinomial' is three(tri) part, the last part is the subspecies name so in Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni the subspecies(sometimes written ssp.) is abingdoni. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 12:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
With this high profile group of species the giant tortoises are often seen as many things. In the end the concensus is what is published in broad taxonomic and nomenclatural reviews, such as Rhodin et al., 2011. In the end despite any claims its safest going with the concensus. If a rock solid claim was made then everyone would change their views. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 13:01, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. It sounds like sticking with subspecies is the best option for now. Per WP:NPOV, though, we should at least mention that some authors consider it a full species (Chelonoidis abingdonii). Kaldari (talk) 17:18, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
To my (limited) understanding it's really an a genus/species issue applicable to Galápagos tortoise rather then individual subspecies and so maybe an expansion of Galápagos_tortoise#Taxonomy might be in order. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:08, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

The tricky subject of synonyms[edit]

The current Synonym is given as "Geochelone abingdoni" which is the for species not the subspecies and doesn't really belong on this article, or if left labelled appropriately. A relevant synonym is Testudo ephippium, 1875 found in the Rhodin et al(page 000.197) reference and it also lists Testudo abingdoni, 1877 - which (as usual with synonyms) confuses me. Shall we add those two and reference Rhodin et al. ?12:58, 26 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by SunCreator (talkcontribs)

The Pinta Tortoise was originally described as Testudo abingdoni and later was moved to the genus Geochelone after this they were all considered a single species all being synonimised at the species level under Geochelone nigra formerly Testudo nigra and the name abingdoni';' was reduced in rank to subspecies. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 13:06, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Where did you get that information? Can we add it to the article? Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:31, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Sourced would be nice. Someone added synonyms to the article from the retilian database(a contriversial source for synonmys). This could get complex. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:51, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Well partly I can glean that from the synonymy, as the way a name develops is written out though it takes a bit of practice to see it. But also before I worked on Chelid (side-necked) turtles I did work for a number of years on Galaps. I was the International Species Co-ordinator for them so had a wealth of literature, including many popular books as well as research articles. My literature went back some 200 years. However, it is all in Australia whereas I am currently in the USA, and I have not published on Galaps since 1993. I will try to get some of the good literature together and we can try to write some of this stuff out. Fair warning I simplified it above, its actually a bit more of a headache than that. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 16:59, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
First usage of the binomen Chelonoides abingdonii was by Bour, R. 1980. "Essai sur la taxinomie des Testudinidae actuels (Reptilia, Chelonii)" (in French). Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris) 4 (2): 541-546. Not by Rhodin et al., 2011). (UTC)Faendalimas talk 26 June 2012 (UTC)
But more imporant point is that Rhodin et al., 2011 doesn't use Chelonoidis abingdonii, so it's not a synonym from them. Just shows reptilian database is not a reliable source. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:32, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Would this information be included in Synonyms? Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:34, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Is the source used still unreliable? or can we remove {{rs}}? In addition, should we include "The dashes indicate that the author was not naming a new taxon, but instead was only creating a new combination of genus and species or subspecies." At a maximum, the information should be included as another note, not in-text. Ryan Vesey Review me!
An IP is editing this, in order to be nice to newbies I'm leaving it for now. But good points, but I'm not sure how to fix it. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
In that case, I'll modify it as a note so that the information is still included. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:52, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Great! Regards, SunCreator (talk) 19:08, 26 June 2012 (UTC)


The order of this article is poor. I understand that people are interested in Lonesome George; however, the first information should be about the Species. I suggest Lead→Taxonomy and range→Conservation efforts→Lonesome George→Reproduction Attempts→Death→Possible Remaining Individuals. It is possible that some sections may need to be slightly rewritten in order to create that order. Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:25, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. Just go for it. It will never be perfect, but can adjust after it's in the appropriate order. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:28, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually it is just about a subspecies, one population of the species known as Galapagos Tortoises. However, you are right, it should lead in better and get to Lonesome George later on. Taxonomy can also discuss the discovery and description of this subspecies, and maybe its rediscovery in 1972 after it was thought to be extinct then. Then onwards as you have outlined. Up to you though if you want to change it. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 13:32, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Woops, I meant subspecies. It'll be a couple of hours before I change it, but that is good because it gives any ardent "Lonesome George should be first" supporters a chance to comment. Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:35, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, I already ordered it to your suggestion. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:38, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
No problem! Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I've move 'Conservation efforts' after George because the Conservation efforts where mainly because of George. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:10, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I've restored the section to its original location, the efforts were meant to conserve the subspecies, not lonesome George. The conservation efforts also began before his discovery. If it was to be moved, it would need to be after "Death" because "Death" and "Reproduction attempts" are subsections of Lonesome George. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:17, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
"the efforts [before the discovery of George] were meant to conserve the subspecies" - do you have a cite for that? I've not read that anywhere and it could be added to help the flow. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 19:07, 26 June 2012 (UTC)


The lead needs additions per WP:LEAD. I'll take a crack at it tonight, unless someone wants to now. I'm considering adding {{Lead too short}}, but I don't know if it would be beneficial. It looks poor since it is on the main page, and normal readers don't understand our lead policies, so I doubt they could create a quality lead. Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:43, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Expand somewhat as lead is now twice the length as before. Please feel free to expand further. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:17, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The grammar in the lead is awful. (talk) 16:45, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, be bold fix it! Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I've revised the lead further. Kaldari (talk) 20:56, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

British Museum collection[edit]

Do we know anything recent about this. Are the orginal specimens still available? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:22, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

If you are interested, you can read the book here or here. I didn't check the first link, but the second appears to use optical character recognition so you can search within the book; however, it doesn't contain the full text. I'll do some web searching tonight for more current information. Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:28, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, the first link is great becasuse it's searchable. But I'm really looking for a recent update(even last century!) to know what happened to the specimens. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:35, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
If you mean the type specimens?? The ones in the British Museum are still there, I examined them in 1997. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 17:57, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

To add maybe[edit]

  • Description section for features, length, weight etc, some info available from Günther's 1877 paper. Even images from paper asthey will be out of copyright(?)
  • Common names in body(reduce from lead) to explain name change of island and Galápagos move from English to Spanish
  • Expand taxonomy section with synonym info and previous names per changes in species
  • Explain about range and also George's discovery(on Pinta) and where he lived til death

Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:32, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

AAAAH! Seems the correct name is Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii with double 'ii' at the end? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:37, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Except redlist give it one, hence it's current name....checking more. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Source? IUCN lists as Chelonoidis nigra ssp. abingdoni. Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:41, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The describer Albert Günther in but also in page 00.197 also an IUCN document. So maybe the IUCN website is a typo? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Also Fritz et al. page 271. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:50, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The IUNC source that labels it as abingdonii is referring to the Günther reference. Perhaps it was modified since then? Fritz et al. contains both forms. Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Fritz is a list of synonyms and other names(i.e typo errors and mistakes). The correct name is the one in the headings. Names(the subspecies part) don't get modified without being reassigned to the modifer. So as the authority is Albert Günther, then it's that source that would be the correct one. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 15:03, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I noticed some scholars sources also with one 'i', such as I really don't know what to think at the moment. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 15:18, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Same(used with one 'i' at the end) for reference 36 in article using Regards, SunCreator (talk) 15:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Its supposed to be abingdonii unfortunately names get their spelling changed according to the rules of Latin grammar, according to use. The original description is still Gunther, 1877 but the current assignment is attributed to David, 1994. I am afraid that Galaps have had a rather volatile nomenclatural history. There is not much getting out of these issues now. Popular animal, attracts a lot of people, not all know what they are doing. Sorry I did not notice this yesterday, one move would have been enough. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 15:37, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
What would be considered the current authority on this issue? Is there an organization that keeps a list of the official names of every subspecies? As a note wikispecies:Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni uses only one i as well. Spanish wiki lists it as es:Chelonoidis abingdonii though. Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:41, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The final authority on names is the ICZN (International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature) and yes they keep lists of names that have issues with them. Wikispecies is not an authority on this, their site is largely built up similarly to Wikipedia hence, mistakes are made. But it is peer reviewed publications that should be considered as the authority. The IUCN's database on Galaps dates to 1996, 15 years ago, it is out of date a point acknowledged by them and pointed out under review. Note that Rhodin et al., attach their record to the IUCN one by saying as ... abingdoni this is the way a nomenclature paper links inconsistencies. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 15:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
My wikispecies note was that if it was moved here, it should probably be moved there. Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Faendalimas, Rhodin et al. 2011( "abingdonii Günther 1877: IUCN Extinct in the Wild (1996), as Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni". Good point. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:02, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Move artice to Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii[edit]

I suggest the article is moved, but wondering if this is uncontroversial! Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:08, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Having already discussed the verifiability of this, I would say it is uncontroversial. In fact, I'm going to move the wikispecies one. Make sure the main page gets changed. Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:10, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
give me a couple of minutes to check just in case something strange is going on. Faendalimas talk 16:11, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
ok the name is not in the Official list of names in Zoology published by the IUCN, hence we go by what we can see. So yes move them to Geochelone nigra abingdonii. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 16:20, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Can you explain why the IUCN have not corrected there own website page as they have been aware of the error for some time(years?) now? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:22, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Plus you mean Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii not Geochelone nigra abingdonii??? Surely. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:25, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry yes I mean Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii and as for the IUCN they have to deal with the status of every species on the planet. they cycle through them in a yearly review that only covers a set number of species. There are Millions of species and 10's of thousands that they deal with. It would be overload and the species was adequately protected by the most recent assessment. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 16:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Moved! Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks. Cheers Faendalimas talk 16:43, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Are you sure?[edit]

The ICZN allows for spelling emendation when the latin grammar is incorrect. This seems to be one of those cases. I believe it would be up to the first reviser whether or not to apply such emendation. Unfortunately, I have no idea who that would be. Kaldari (talk) 19:59, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Well the first to use it as a trnomial was Mertens and Wermuth, 1955 as Testudo elephantaopus abingdonii
The first to use it with the genus Chelonoidis was Bour, 1980, as Chelonoidis abingdonii
But the first to use it in modern usage, ie in the genus Chelonoides and the species nigra was David, 1994 as Chelonoides nigra abingdonii. So to me it has more often, and more often reviewed as abingdonii its an unfortunate thing of nomenclature, would be easier to just let all spellings stay as originally published, but the code allows for changes. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 20:36, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Per the info you have provided, I would agree that Chelonoides nigra abingdonii is the preferred name. Thanks for digging up the original citations! Kaldari (talk) 20:59, 26 June 2012 (UTC)


I really dislike the way the article appears with {{-}}. Can we consider removing this? If the concern is that the map doesn't appear near the correct section, we could consider removing only the clear after the lead and moving the map to the left side of the page. Some of the concern will be fixed once the article, and thus the lead, is expanded a bit more. Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I dislike it also, but feel it's the lesser evil, but have removed the clear now. Solution as you suggest is to expand the article to have more text. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I will expand the synonymy section, the problem with the Reptile Database is its old and inaccurate. Use Frittz and Havas, 2007, and Rhosin et al., 2011. You can glean the info from them they have just written it better, but different. Ny the way the source for the combination of Chelonoidis abingdonii is David, 1996. I will put this section together and show you what I mean, need to gather some papers etc first. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 17:33, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Galápagos Islands became Spanish[edit]

When did Galápagos Islands become part of Ecuador? I don't see anything on Galápagos Islands and no sources. I want to link the name change of Abingdon Island to the Enlgish(Earl of Abingdon) to the Spanish Pinta Island(es:Isla Pinta). Sources seem hard to come by, at least so far. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:38, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

After the Independence of Ecuador in 1832 they were annexed and called the Archipielago del Ecuador at that time the English names were replaced with Spanish ones. The Port on Isabella is named after the first Governor, Jose Villamil. Anyway there are history books available, this site has a list of some of them go to the books section. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 17:52, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Guiness book of records?[edit] Really? 18:17, 26 June 2012 (UTC) Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:17, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Wolf Volcano or Volcán Wolf[edit]

The article refers to this several times. Even in a quote. Makes it a little difficult to be internally consistant. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:15, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Since they now use the Spanish names we should also, at least as much as possible, unless we are specifically referring to something that happened to do with the English names. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 23:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
What about it's use in the quote? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 00:12, 27 June 2012 (UTC)


How could the species be extinct????? Couldn't people clone the turtle and keep trying to breed it with another species??? Last of it's kind, and nobody thought to clone it. That really goes to show how crazy people are... If anyone reading this agrees with my idea, please say so. Scientific Alan 2 (talk) 23:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Well cloning is not as easy as it looks and in some ways is easier for mammals because we are placentals whereas reptiles you need to get the material into an egg. Plus LG was a male and so you dont have an egg to start with. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 23:32, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

This is not a forum. Brightgalrs (/braɪtˈɡæl.ərˌɛs/)[1] 00:51, 27 June 2012 (UTC)


Can we find an IPA pronunciation for this anywhere? Ryan Vesey Review me! 00:52, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 09:07, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Chelonoidis nigra abingdoniiPinta Island tortoise – There is a green box above with a proposed move done yesterday that was rushed and closed within 25 hrs of proposal, unfortunately in error. I agree we need to follow only the directions at WP:FNAME for this article title, but your interpretation of "ambiguous" at that guideline is incorrect. "Ambiguous" there does not apply when there are several different common names that could be applied to one taxon, rather it only applies to one common name when the meaning of that common name is not clear. In this case, "Pinta Island tortoise" is plenty clear enough for the major sources: CNN, Time magazine, National Geographic, BBC World News, The Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Slate magazine Scientific American Audubon magazine, UPI New Scientist magazine, etc. Also, per that guideline, ambiguity is determined specifically "as determined in reliable sources", not just by the logic of Wikipedia editors. So that means we can not say "my interpretation of info I found in reliable sources is that this name is ambiguous", but we can say "reliable sources have said this name is ambiguous".
There is also an error above in interpretation of what makes a reliable source. While scientific sources are important for facts in a biological article, they are virtually irrelevant when determing a common name for an article title. Our guideline, WP:FNAME, has a whole section titled Use the most common name when possible, and we need to do that here. If there is any question about what "common name" means in this context, the guidline references the definition at common (vernacular) name. While it was perhaps ok then to be bold by moving the article in less than a reasonable comment period, it should probably immediately go back to its original name while we discuss it, since that move is now challenged (see Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle). --Tom Hulse (talk) 07:13, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Comment This article has been under it's scientific name from 2008 until moved on the 25 June(two days ago), so any 'immediate reverting to original name' would be reverting to the scientific name. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 10:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
My mistake, thank you. You are correct that it should then stay at its scientific name for the duration of our discussion. --Tom Hulse (talk) 10:35, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Comment - I've never read that for a source to be ambiguous that "reliable sources have said this name is ambiguous". So yes, that is not my interpretation. Could you expand on where you read that, especially the quoted part. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 12:54, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
That is from Wikipedia:Article titles under the section Common names, in the first paragraph. It is also plain logic, since the guidlines refer to a name that is ambiguous, not a taxon that could be ambiguous from having multiple names. There is nothing ambiguous about the single name "Pinta island tortoise" per the reliable sources. Also from that same Wikipedia:Article titles in the Precision and disambiguation section, it defines an amibiguous title as one that "can refer to more than one topic covered in Wikipedia".
  • I'm just curious, what is it exactly that makes "Pinta Island tortoise" ambiguous? It appears like there is only one form of tortoise on Pinta Island, am I wrong? Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:07, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
As a comment, it appears like SunCreator stated the common name was ambiguous because there were multiple common names; however, ambiguity, as described in WP:FAUNA, refers to sharing a name with something else. That being said, I am conditionally supporting this pending a response from SunCreator. The name certainly appears to be the common name due to its appearance as such in reliable sources. Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:12, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Ryan, I apologize, but I'm not sure I understand which name you are supporting. :) --Tom Hulse (talk) 17:50, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I am supporting Pinta Island tortoise. It is clearly the common name in media and, while SunCreator has a good argument, I believe you sufficiently addressed the ambiguity concern below. The existence of other tortoises on Pinta Island does not imply that they are Pinta Island tortoises. As an example, consider Canada Goose. This may be a weaker example because the official name for Canada Goose is Branta canadensis; however, I can point out that the Canada Goose is referred to in that manner in light of the existence of the Aleutian Cackling Goose formerly called the Aleutian Canada Goose. Ross's Goose also exists in Canada. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:15, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
It's true that 'ambiguous' has meant to me(and members of WP:AAR whom I got the meaning from) a name not the most used. But even when 'ambiguous' means a name that is shared, there is still a problem of the tortoises that live on Pinta Island, that are also Pinta Island tortoise. This was brought up at the move request from 2010. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:54, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
It probably wont come as a surprise that I oppose common names, particularly when there are multiple of them, my reasons are mainly because the scientific name links in better with the literature etc, is going to be more stable, etc. However, I am not going to oppose this except to say that could we please think about it carefully as this page has been moved enough recently and I think constantly moving it is more damaging than what its eventually called since we have redirects from most possibilities anyway. If I had to pick one Pinta Island Tortoise is the best one. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 05:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Support move to Pinta Island tortoise. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 06:23, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
So, after the hard time you gave me about moving the page, the desperation you showed that the name was totally wrong and needed to be fixed immediately, the dismissive remark that "[I'm] not a zoological person, as [I] would not use G books", and the heat from Floydian that came out of all of that, you're saying that Pinta Island tortoise is actually the most appropriate name for this article? You went from "IS there even a source for 'Pinta Island tortoise'?" to "Support move to Pinta Island tortoise" in four days? Unbelievable. -- tariqabjotu 15:33, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Tariqabjotu, there is no reason for that. More information has come to light and editors are allowed to change their opinions. Frankly, I feel that the early RM was moved prematurely. Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:37, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why you had an issue with my comment. That was the least harsh way I could have expressed surprise and frustration toward SunCreator's actions. There was no new information that came about over the past four days. "Pinta Island tortoise" has been presented as the sole common name in the article for years, as I tried to explain to SunCreator multiple times. The word "ambiguous" in WP:FNAME, and nearly every other article naming convention, has always meant the same thing. Nothing has changed. The only thing that has changed is that SunCreator has dropped his/her arrogance toward the scientific name.
Again, I'm not sure you were following this, but s/he acted as if I had just made up the name "Pinta Island tortoise" and was responding to one random edit when I moved the article, when in fact that name has been in the article more than any other common name since 2007. I understand there are other common names for this species, and one might be tempted to argue that they are used with similar frequency as "Pinta Island tortoise" (although I think that's a hard sell), but remarks like "where did this name and page move come from", "The person moving it made the move in response to an unsourced(and failing WP:DUE) edit yesterday.", "someone seeing the article contents moved the article ignoring relevant guidelines", and "IS there even a source for 'Pinta Island tortoise'?" were uncalled for. There are, as this discussion shows, valid reasons for the article being at Pinta Island tortoise (as I'm sure there are valid reasons for not moving it). I tried to convey much of the same to SunCreator when he came to WP:ERRORS, WP:ITN/C, and my talk page in desperation, even after saying I didn't care if s/he moved the article back, but SunCreator was too focused on his position and my supposed ineptitude to understand that. If you want to encourage this kind of arrogant approach to article changes, go ahead, but I think I am also within my bounds to express disbelief that someone would be so brazen in their opinion, only to quietly change it a couple days later. -- tariqabjotu 16:21, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Common name options[edit]

My preference is for common names where possible(see previous comments). So let's look at the options - listed prefererences in reverse order.

  • Abingdon Island giant tortoise - Positive:Naming recognised by the IUCN. Negative: Abingdon Island is an old British name prior to the annexing of Galápagos Islands in 1832. Negative: Use of 'giant tortoise' is confusing as it has no taxonomy basis, but implies it does. Negative: Not common. Negative: Four word common name over shorter alternative is something normally discouraged unless really necessary.
  • Pinta giant tortoise - Positive: Modern name of Island. Positive:Naming recognised by the IUCN. Negative: Use of 'giant tortoise' is confusing as it has no taxonomy basis, but implies it does. Negative: Not common.
  • Abingdon Island tortoise - Positive: Until recently this was the most commonly used English name. Positive: Naming recognised by the IUCN. Neutral:It's twice(2007 and 2010) been suggested that the page be moved to this name(suggests preferred name by some others). Negative: Abingdon Island is an old British name prior to the annexing of Galápagos Islands in 1832.
  • Pinta Island tortoise - Positive: Modern name of the Island is accurate(accepted). Positive: Recent news sources have established its use. Neutral: This name is new, the article didn't have this name even as a redirect until two days ago. Negative: Name is NOT recognised by the IUCN, and due to it's newness it has little to no use in books sources. Negative: The name is ambigious because as brought up at a previous move request tortoises that live on Pinta Island are not the tortoises meant in the article, but hybrids.
  • Lonesome George Positive: What the reader is expecting. Positive: Very common. Negative: Would mean a considerable rehash of the article and I'm busy.

Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:45, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

I don't think "Lonesome George" should be a candidate for the common name of an entire subspecies any more than Tom Cruise should be for Homo sapiens sapiens... Lonesome George is the name of an individual, not the entire taxon. I would support one of the names used by the IUCN or another widely-recognized organization. MMartyniuk (talk) 15:27, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Dinoguy, and I think we should look at what most news sources are calling the subspecies now that it has so much attention, it would probably give an indication of what's most likely to be used henceforward. FunkMonk (talk) 15:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to go out on a limb here and support Pinta Island tortoise. "Abingdon Island" has fallen from use and I don't think I've seen a single news source refer to it as the Abingdon Island tortoise. All the press (including the scientific press) seems to be going with "Pinta Island tortoise" currently, so it seems to have the majority of reliable source citations (and it's been used as a common name for the subspecies since at least 1983). The scientific literature is all over the place, and favors the latin binomial anyway. I don't really consider the IUCN an authority on species nomenclature, so the fact that the IUCN doesn't list it has little affect on my preference. Kaldari (talk) 17:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Lonsome George would be a nice title for another article, if this one got too big; but there is plenty of info at the current article that applies generally to the taxon to make this an appropriate taxon article. The other turtles that were slated to be introduced to Pinta in 2010 are not a problem to our proposed move, since not even one reliable source has called them "Pinta Island tortoises". They have been sterilized and so are not a breeding population. The article also indicates they are temporary, pending a wide sweep of DNA testing of giant tortoises worldwide to possibly find more true Pinta Island tortoises or ones that are at least more related. So our common name itself has never been confused with these hybrids in reliable sources, which satifies the Wikipedia:Article titles guidelines. --Tom Hulse (talk) 17:50, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Conservation Status (revisited)[edit]

I recently reverted an edit by George Steinmetz since it was made in the face of established consensus. I am not entirely sure what I think about his edit oldid, but I feel that it should be discussed here first since consensus has already been reached. Ryan Vesey Review me! 02:21, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

As a comment, if we did use the version created by George Steinmetz, we could put the (Possibly extinct) notice after the source and include a break. That would leave the IUNC conservation status and source on one line and possibly extinct on the next. It looks nice, in my opinion, but I have no preference on which version we use and will defer to other editors. Ryan Vesey Review me! 02:26, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm happy with George Steinmetz's change to the article. Maybe as you suggest Ryan the (Possibly extinct) after the reference would be a further improvement. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 02:34, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I have restored his edit with the modification based on initial discussion. Ryan Vesey Review me!
(I as typing this before the most recent edit): I had previously changed (undid) it based on the talk page and notes in the source code, which basically said leave it alone until IUCN officially reclassified it (their page outright says "Annotations: Needs updating", so hopefully it will have at least some mention of it soon), but left the "Possibly Extinct" text that was there at the time of my update. Out of all the possible options, possibly extinct is the most common-sense one, but just stating "Possibly extinct" without any references seems to be the least Wikipedia-style option. As I'm writing this, I realised that technically, the most correct (reference-wise) option is to just have it listed as it was before this week (EW) without the Possibly Extinct footer until IUCN or another organisation says so.— George Steinmetz (talkcontribs) 02:53, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Can we just remove the "conservation status" part of the infobox entirely? Doggitydogs (talk) 07:03, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Something needs to be done here. The constant back and forth is unsightly and unprofessional. The status of an animal is an official classification, it does not actually matter if there are no Pinta Tortoises alive, the status of this subspecies is EW and will remain so until such time as the IUCN changes this. People can change it to extinct as much as they like, the status of the population is still EW. I still think we should list his IUCN status as it is, we can always explain it and add a note to it, but the status is as it stands. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 08:39, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Doggity, no info is less of an evil than misleading info. You're right, Faendalimas, that technically the IUCN's conservation status is exactly "EW" currently. But it is also correct that their status is outdated, wrong, and it would be misleading to leave it in the article, especially with the kind of edits I just removed that stretched out what the sources are saying to infer that scientists still think there are others in the wild.
It would be a mistake for us to blindly follow the IUCN in every case without any wiggle room in the rules, as if they had a monopoly on conservation status. They don't. They're just an aggregator of info from scientific literature, and they make many, MANY mistakes (their orchids for instance are a mess compared to real scientific literature). If we want to deviate from their outdated info, then we can't use their fancy grading system or perhaps their abbreviations, but we can use other reliable sources to say that the conservation status of this subspecies is extinct. There is no such thing as an "official" conservation status, just different sources with varying degrees of reliability. This is the infrequent case where IUCN is not a reliable source, per their own admission. Misleading info has to go. --Tom Hulse (talk) 09:42, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify my point here. My issue is saying its extinct and then crediting the IUCN with that, if we wish to list it as extinct thats ok, as long as we do not say that information is credited to someone who did not say it yet. Its not often, thankfully, that we have the displeasure of watching something go extinct and hence we dont have good ways of dealing with it. The IUCN does not glean from from the literature, at least not only that, they also have assessments filled out by relevant people that are assessed according to criteria accepted by protective bodies in each country. Hence it is a legal classification, hence it should be reported accurately. At one point we had the status section replaced completely, it said it was possibly extinct, which is all we can say. Extinction requires 50 years without a living specimen to be proven, so we have some time yet. cheers, Faendalimas talk 11:09, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I put in a request for semi-protection to stop IP editing from modifying the extinction status. Are you suggesting that the EW conservation status should be removed? Ryan Vesey Review me! 12:49, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I could see that it is reasonable to want view IUCN's status, even if incorrect, as relevant to the article, but it wouldn't be an excuse for misleading our readers. If we just plainly list the IUCN status in an infobox in the header, then it wrongly implies correctness. We could explain the IUCN status in the article, but for the infobox we should have the correct conservation status, referenced with reliable sources. Your 50-year rule for extinction is outdated info, the IUCN and most reliable sources do not use it. --Tom Hulse (talk) 18:08, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I've got to say, I don't think I can continue to support including the EW in the infobox. As Tom says, we can comment about it in the article, but including it in the infobox makes readers assume it is true, even with the possibly extinct note we have under it. Ryan Vesey Review me! 08:07, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm with Ryan on this. I considered two days ago adding {{Update after}} to the IUCN information, but maybe removal of IUCN from the infobox is the cleanest thing for a reader. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 12:04, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
As I said above, I am not too worried what you list it as so long as the IUCN does not get credited with a status change they have not made yet. So remove it is fine, or leave it as EW I think those are the choices. All I really ask is that it gets stabilised. Comments in text will do for now. Lets just disable the IUCN box in the infobox for the time being. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 14:34, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Conservation efforts[edit]

This section seems misplaced or unnecessary. It states the goats were introduced in 1958, at a time when the species was already considered extinct. It then states (With no citation) that the goats were eliminated. It has no connection to trying to conserve the species (George was found 13 years after the goats arrived) and gives no time frame for the goat's removal. I would think the removal of the goats would be a broader conservation effort for the island as a whole, not the tortoises.

The Lonesome George section then suggests that the goats from 1958 were responsible for the species' loss due to habitat destruction, yet the species was already considered extinct before the goats arrived. The island's vegetation had been devastated by introduced feral goats, and the indigenous C. n. abingdonii population had been reduced to a single individual.

Probably should remove the conservation effort section and tweak the later sentence to not draw a conclusion that the goats were responsible (At least for the tortoises). -- ferret (talk) 15:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

It is poorly sourced and unclear at present. What source says 'the [sub]species was already considered extinct before the goats arrived'? My understanding was that George was found while clearing the goats, hence some relevance of the goats. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:53, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I took that from the lead, which states "by the mid-20th century". That could include up to 1960, just after the goats were introduced, but consideration of being extinct I don't believe occurred in just that 2-3 year span. I now see that that statement is also flagged as needing a source. -- ferret (talk) 17:16, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm in two minds about marking the unsourced lead part as dubious. Several editors have altered the lead because the grammar was difficult but in rearranging the lead have made claims not sourced in the article. So it would seem possible that the lead claim is dubious. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:21, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
By the time the goats were introduced, the tortoise was assumed to be extinct (see Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of the World's Most Famous Tortoise). However there were still a few tortoises on the island. The ones that were left had no food (thanks to the goats) and were still killed by poachers, so they had little chance for survival. The article currently doesn't really cover any of this, and instead implies that the goats were responsible for the subspecies decline, which isn't true. Kaldari (talk) 02:50, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


Interwiki links need to be checked as some refer to a subspecies and some to a Lonesome George. Ivo (talk) 17:00, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Some are species some are combination. I don't think they require checking really. It seems an error to remove them. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 22:46, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Most languages will have either one article or the other, and we still need to get the readers to the info somehow. If there is a better article in that language you could change the link, but deleting would be inappropriate, I think. --Tom Hulse (talk) 23:52, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

found offical link about IUCN extinct conservation status[edit]

I found the link to the offical IUCN article to offically change the status to extinct. Dominicskywalker (talk) 17:23, 4 August 2012 (UTC)dominicskywalker

The article, although published on the IUCN website, is just a nice opinion piece by one individual, and does not affect the official IUCN status, is still EW (not CR as your current version shows). The discussion above still applies where consensus was reached for the current wording, and so I have to revert your edits (sorry!). --Tom Hulse (talk) 02:09, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

New says Lonesome george was not the last one.-- (talk) 03:52, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Where?--Tom Hulse (talk) 20:33, 26 October 2014 (UTC)