Sailing ship off Galapagos (Daphne Major island in background) and Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra), photo composite. The Galapagos were visited by Charles Darwin in his Beagle voyages and also by author Herman Melville. Old whaling boats collected giant tortoises for food and left a legacy of feral animals including goats and pigs that destroyed the vegetation. Project Isabela is a recent initiative designed to eradicate goats on Isabela island and restore the ecosystem for the giant tortoises.