Galapagos Islands

Galápagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

The landscape of Galapagos is a canvas splashed with flamboyant Sally Lightfoot crabs, the jeweled feet of thousands of boobies, and water from the bright turquoise to inky cobalt. It is against this backdrop that you'll be enraptured by the islands' most famous feature- the curious wildlife. 

Wildlife in Galápagos Islands

Galápagos Flamingo

With less than 350 individuals, the Galápagos Flamingo is the world’s smallest, and is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. They can be found is saltwater lagoons near the sea, feeding on the brine shrimp whose aqueous bacteria and beta carotene give them their pink color. Where populations elsewhere require large groups for successful breeding, Galápagos Flamingos can breed with just a few pairs present, producing chicks with grey plumage.

Galápagos Fur Seal

The Galapagos fur seal is the smallest fur seal, with six other fur seals in other areas of the world being larger. The scientific name, Arctocephalus, translates to “bear head” as its face and head are small with fairly large ears and a very pointed snout. The Galápagos fur seal has very large eyes which aid in their foraging strategies of being nocturnal. Through long term studies, it appears that fur seals prefer small moon phases for feeding at sea and during full or big moon nights, the fur seals remain ashore.

Galapagos land iguana

Galápagos Land Iguana

Commonly spotted on Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, North Seymour and Baltra islands, these ancient-looking iguanas are among the most colorful of all Galapagos Island animals. Growing 3-5 feet long and weighing up to 25 pounds, they come in colors ranging from vivid yellow and rusty orange to red. Land iguana populations were nearly decimated by invasive species during the 20th century, but breeding efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the 1990s led to a successful reintroduction campaign. Nearly 10,000 iguanas roam the islands today, living 50-60 years and feeding primarily on prickly-pear cactus.

Galápagos Penguin

Found mainly on Fernandina and Isabela, where there are fewer than 1,000 breeding pairs left, this equatorial Penguin measures around 19 inches long and weighs just five pounds. They’ve genetically adapted to the heat (which ranges from 59º-82ºF), thermoregulating by stretching out their flippers, avoiding the sun, panting and swimming in the islands’ cooler waters.

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Our Conservation Efforts in Galápagos Islands

Saving Galapagos: Charles Darwin Foundation Conserves an Ecological Treasure

The world has been fascinated by the Galapagos Islands ever since Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking book on evolutionary theory, On the Origin of Species, in 1859.

10 Simple Green Travel Tips

Once upon a time, responsible travel essentially boiled down to the old adage, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

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