Mexican National Sentenced For Wildlife Crime

A Mexican man has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for attempting to smuggle protected species out of the Galapagos Islands.  

The judge sentenced Gustavo Eduardo Toledo Albarran to two years in prison in Guayaquil Social Rehabilitation Centre, where he was being held.

Toledo was captured on September 6, 2015 in the town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island, with 11 endemic iguanas, 9 marine iguanas and 2 land iguanas, in his backpack. Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) and land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) are both endemic to the Galapagos Islands and are protected under Ecuadorian law. The iguanas, which were all juveniles, were assessed at the time and were released back in to the wild.

Iguana Comparison © Robert Fuller, Neil Bruce

Left: marine iguana © Robert Fuller. Right: land iguana © Neil Bruce

Toledo had a previous record for attempting to smuggle reptiles from other countries including New Zealand. He will also be fined $3,660, and made to pay $20,000 in compensation to the Galapagos National Park. He has been prohibited from entering the Galapagos Islands again.