Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Quito (AFP) Feb 5, 2013
An Ecuadoran court has sentenced a German tourist to four years in prison for trying to smuggle threatened iguanas out of the Galapagos Islands.
Dirk Bender "will serve four years in prison as stated in the judgment reported today by the president and judges" of the criminal court that found him guilty on January 5 of having altered the local ecosystem of the archipelago, the Galapagos National Park said in a statement Monday.
Bender was arrested at the airport on Baltra Island on July 8 after park officials noticed him carrying a suspicious package, which was found to contain four lizards wrapped in canvas.
The hidden reptiles were Galapagos land iguanas (conolophus subcristatus), which the International Union for Conservation of Nature ranks as "vulnerable" on its Red List of Threatened Species.
The statement said Bender will serve his sentence in a prison in the Ecuadoran port city of Guayaquil since the archipelago does not have such a facility.
Time he has already spent in a provisional detention facility in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz will be taken into consideration, according to park authorities.
The Galapagos Islands, situated about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) off Ecuador's coast, gained fame when Darwin visited in 1835 to conduct research that led to his revolutionary theories on evolution.
The archipelago has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978 for the rich plant and animal life found both on land and in the surrounding sea.
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|