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Determination of capacity of otoy (Xanthosoma sagitifolium) consumption in juvenile galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis guntheri and Chelonoidis vicina) bred in captivity on isabela Island – Galapagos

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Author: 
Byron Humberto Puga-Torres, Samantha Michele Morales-Arciniega, Óscar Carvajal-Mora, Silvana Hipatia Santander Parra, Francisco De La Cueva-Jácome and Luis Fabián Núñez Naranjo
Abstract: 

Galapagos giant tortoises are in danger of extinction (including 4 of the 15 species are already extinct), so their maintenance and conservation in captivity is of utmost importance for the recovery of their wild populations, among which is fundamental the correct feeding of these chelonians that constitute the animal symbol of the islands and by whom they take its name. At the Tortoise Breeding Center of Puerto Villamil at Isabela Island – Galapagos, the feed is exclusively based on otoy, malanga or yautia (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), without any dosage or ration for each pen, so to know the capacity of consumption of tortoises is of utmost importance for them, in order not to waste and optimize their use. The aim of the present study was to determine the consumption capacity of Otoy (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) that have juvenile Galápagos tortoises reared in captivity on Isabela Island – Galapagos, Ecuador. Thus, tortoises born in captivity and belonging to the Isabela Island species (Chelonoidis guntheri and Chelonoidis vicina) were distributed in 5 groups, aged between 1 and 4 years, to each group was administered 1, 2, 3 and 4 kg of otoy during the whole investigation, until standardizing the consumption in 2.5 kg. At the end of the investigation, there was no mortality in any of the pens, and the consumption capacity in groups 1, 2 and 3 corresponded to an average of 89.5 g, 81.4 g and 84.6 g of otoy per kg of body weight, respectively. In groups 4 and 5, the corresponding consumption capacity is 76.3 and 90.3 grams of otoy per kg of body weight, respectively. The present study determined that, on average, 75 to 90 grams of otoy (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) should be administered for each kg of body weight of juvenile tortoises reared in captivity at the Tortoise Breeding Center of Puerto Villamil.