Blog posts about IE's Galapagos tours, as well as news and ecotourism.
Researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Instititute have used genetic testing to determine that the frigatebirds in the Galapagos Islands have been genetically different from frigatebirds found elsewhere for more than half a million years. This has prompted calls for increased protection and a new conservation status for the approximately 2,000 frigatebirds that nesting the Galapagos.
Ecuador signed a recent deal with the United Nations not to exploit its oil-rich Amazon reserves. This deal sets up a trust fund by wealthy countries that will be worth half the expected earnings from the potential sale of oil. This should help to protect some 675 sq miles of the Amazon. This is an area that is home to indigenous tribes, thousands of species of trees and, of course, nearly 1 billion barrels of crude oil.
Thanks to 11-year-old Sarah (pictured below with brother, Eli) for sending in praise for her family Galapagos Islands cruise. We're happy to have shared the experience with such a young lover of wildlife!
Galapagos Islands cruise guests always love meeting famous "Lonesome George" at the Charles Darwin Research Station. The giant tortoise, the last of his subspecies, is a native of Pinta Island, where the Galapagos National Park officials have just released 39 giant tortoises.
Guests who take our Galapagos Islands cruises first fly to Guayaquil (pronounced "why-a-keel"), Ecuador, where our Galapagos tour begins. We always stay at Hotel Oro Verde, where there are four restaurants, but for those who want to explore Guayaquil's dining spots, there are plenty to be found. Here is a local-favorite Guayaquil restaurant list recommended by our knowledgeable Expedition Leader.
It's been well-documented that invasive species are threatening the Galapagos Islands' native flora and fauna, with alien or exotic species making up as much as 23% of the archipelago's insect fauna. One of these insect invaders, the sap-sucking cottony cushion scale, is being brought under control by the lady bug beetle.
"'Populations of cottony cushion scale in 2002 were so high and spread across so many islands that several endemic and native plant populations were thought to be going into decline because of heavy infestations,' said Hoddle, a biocontrol specialist.