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#286 La Gomera Giant Lizard

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 77

These were thought to be extinct for hundreds of years. They were rediscovered in 1999. Most of the information about them seems very old. The sites all talk about how there are plans to release some from a captive breeding program come 2009. I do not know how many were released if any. One site I found that was the most recent said that there are now 300 in the wild and 400 in captivity. Unfortunately that was a website for a hotel or tourism, so I am unsure how accurate it is. Almost all the other information I could find said there are 90 in the wild and 44 in captivity. I did find one other site that said in 2009 there were 160. They said total, but mentioned 2 sites and said nothing of captivity. I apologize, but I really cannot make heads or tails of the accurate numbers of these lizards. No matter what, there are certainly fewer than 1000 of these, including the captive breeding program specimens. The lizard populations began to decrease 3000 years ago when humans arrived to the island. Then, cats and rats being introduced to the area meant they had predators they had not before. While they can get to 1½ feet long as adults, they are slow, and they are only around 2 inches long at birth. If their eggs and young survive, they can live up to 60 years or so. They are one of the biggest seed dispersing animals for the island too, so highly beneficial.

Some days I have a harder time coming up with what to write. I want the sharing part to be sort of free flowing. Because I am generally a cheerful person, it will usually be up-beat. I also want it to all be safe for kids. Unfortunately I'm listening to "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte, which is so disconcerting and depressing to listen to. It makes it harder to be cheerful in my writing. So, I'm going to talk about the little tin I have for bandages. It is sitting on the table right next to me because I was working on it today. I like to have a little low key emergency kit in my purse. The tin I have in my purse only had assorted bandages in it when I bought it. They are adorable, covered in narwhals, llamas, or sloths. Unlike many of the bright colourful bandages you get, these are very flexible and work well. I decided to add more stuff to the tin and have fewer bandages. I like to be prepared in case someone's child falls down and gets a scrape. A cheerful bandage can make things so much better. I want to add a bit more to it though. I would like having some aspirin in case someone I am around has a heart attack. I would like to have the ability to remove splinters. I am the sort who would really feel happiest if I could, in a box 2"x4"x4", have some clotting powder, a splint, a whole roll of gauze, medical tape, scissors, blister tape, and really a whole lot more. Since I can't really do that, I have to make-do with what I can fit in the box. I think that if I organize it well I can really get quite a lot. The best part of the tin is that it has a purple llama wearing sunglasses on it. Just looking at the tin makes me grin. I'd add more sparkle to it if I was going to do anything to the outside, but I like it as it is, or will when I feel it is complete.

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