Galapagos land iguanas hatched by artificial incubation for 1st time in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Galapagos land iguanas emerge from eggs in Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Oct. 1.

SHIZUOKA — A zoo in Shizuoka Prefecture has used artifical incubation to hatch Galapagos land iguanas, a rare species unique to the Galapagos Islands.

This is the first time in Japan that this rare lizard has hatched from eggs in artificial conditions, according to iZoo in Kawazu, Shizuoka.

The zoo obtained two adult iguanas in 2017 and six more in 2018. Last year, they laid eggs without breeders’ knowledge and three eggs hatched naturally.

Based on this experience, the zoo looked after the reptiles under the same temperature and other conditions as last year, and confirmed 16 eggs had been laid on June 11. All the eggs were transferred to an incubator to increase the chance of extrication.

They began to hatch on Sept. 29, and lizards had emerged from all 16 eggs by Oct. 1.

Keeping and exhibiting Galapagos land iguanas is rare in the world, according to the Shizuoka zoo.

“We consider this an important achievement in terms of species preservation. We hope to continue contributing to the breeding of rare species,” said a zoo official in charge of breeding animals.