The Study

             This is the largest public study of Galapagos Tortoises

Over the past year, 46 blood samples from affected and non-affected Galapagos Tortoises have been collected from privately kept animals throughout the United States.  Those samples are currently being tested for T4, T3 and iodine levels.  Many skeptics have expressed doubt that this initial testing will prove any purpose. The need to do something was apparent, we started with thyroid hormone levels for several reasons, one is the need of specific Galapagos Tortoise reference ranges.  To date there are no standard reference ranges for T4, T3 or iodine levels available to veterinarians for Galapagos Tortoises.  Most labs use mammal reference ranges for comparison!  There are a few small sampled, outdated, studies in veterinarian manuals that have been used for reference, however, in most of those studies only 1 or 2 affected animals were tested. This study will provide veterinarians with a large group of affected and non-affected ranges to use for comparison.  If this testing does not indicate a thyroid hormone imbalance then we will continue on to other avenues with future testing plans, (see below).  We will not stop at this testing, we are in this for the well being of these animals, an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is our goal!!


We are so thankful to the many keepers who donated their animals samples! This is only the first step in a continuing effort to determine what is causing this deadly condition! The results from these initial tests will be presented by Dr. Funk at  the AAV-AEMV-ARAV Concurrent Annual Veterinarian Conference in San Antonio, Texas in August 2015, and Wendy & Dr. Funk will be presenting at the annual Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group (TTPG) Conference in Mesa, Arizona in November 2015. This conference has become the

"can't be missed" conference of the year!!  Please visit to register. 

                                                                         Future Plans

These are just a few of the future plans:

Vitamin and Mineral testing

Immunology analysis