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Chelonoidis abingdonii (GÜNTHER, 1877)

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Higher TaxaTestudinidae, Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesAbingdon Island Giant Tortoise
ephippium: Duncan Island Giant Tortoise, Saddleback giant tortoise 
SynonymTestudo abingdonii GÜNTHER 1877
Testudo ephippium GÜNTHER 1874: 312 (partim)
Testudo ephippium — GÜNTHER 1875: 271
Testudo elephantopus abingdonii — MERTENS & WERMUTH 1955
Testudo elephantopus ephippium — MERTENS & WERMUTH 1955
Geochelone elephantopus ephippium — PRITCHARD 1967
Geochelone elephantopus abingdoni — PRITCHARD 1967
Geochelone nigra abingdoni — IVERSON 1992: 250
Geochelone nigra ephippium — IVERSON 1992: 250
Chelonoidis nigra ephippium — DAVID 1994
Geochelone elephantopus ephippium — SWASH & STILL 2000
Geochelone elephantopus abingdoni — SWASH & STILL 2000
Geochelone abingdoni — VALVERDE 2004
Geochelone abingdonii — CISNEROS-HEREDIA 2006
Geochelone ephippium — CISNEROS-HEREDIA 2006
Geochelone ephippium — POULAKAKIS et al. 2008
Geochelone abingdoni — POULAKAKIS et al. 2008
Geochelone nigra — FRITZ & BININDA-EMONDS 2007
Chelonoidis abingdonii — RHODIN et al. 2010
Chelonoidis abingdonii — TTWG 2017: 125 
DistributionEcuador: Galapagos (Abingdon = Pinta Island)

Type locality: Abingdon Island [= Pinta]

ephippium: Galapagos (Duncan = Pinzon); Type locality: “Chalres Island” (in error, fide Iverson 1992)  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1947.3.4.39 ( and and 1947.3.4.95 ( and 1947.3.4.96 (
Holotype: NMSZ 1932.027.001 (fide Olson 2017), not RSM 1932.27.1.12 as stated by other sources [ephippium] 
CommentTaxonomy: This is a member of the Chelonoidis nigra species complex, variably considered as a subspecies of C. nigra or as valid species. The TTWG 2014 listed them separately but under the heading “C. nigra species complex”.

Conservation: Geochelone (nigra) abingdonii is extinct in the wild. However, Poulakakis et al. (2008) show that the genetic line of G. elephantopus has not been completely extinguished and still exists in an intermixed population on Isabela. CITES: Appendix I, as Chelonoidis nigra. Various news outlets reported that the last survivor of this (sub-) species, Lonesome George, died recently on the Galapagos Islands. Extinct fide TTWG 2014, 2017. Aguilera et al. 2015 reported newly hatched C. ephippium on Galapagos.

NCBI taxonID: 2804498 [Chelonoidis ephippium] 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
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