REAL ESTATE IN ECUADOR
Ecuador Real Estate:
Cotacachi, San Clemente, and Mindo, Ecuador
Kate Neville - April 21 2008
Protecting The Wonder Of Galapagos Island Wildlife
The unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands has been commented upon for centuries. In fact, it was one of the
original factors that caused Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution. Unfortunately, protection for
Galapagos wildlife took longer to appear. The first protective legislation for this area occurred in the mid-1930s.
However, no actual action was taken until the late 1950s. Missions from the IUCN and UNESCA were sent to find out
what was happening to the native plants and animals, and to establish a research station. In 1959, which was the
hundredth anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, almost all of the land in the archipelago
was declared to be a national park. Only areas with existing settlements where excluded. The same year, the Charles
Darwin Foundation was created to help ensure the conservation of the ecosystem, and to study the local Galapagos
Islands wildlife so conservation would be more effective.
In addition to the islands existing as a park, it eventually became necessary to extend protection into the water,
too. In 1986, about forty thousand square miles of ocean around the Galapagos islands was declared as a marine
reserve. That makes it the second largest marine reserve in the world. Only the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is
larger. The archipelago was declared to be a whale sanctuary in 1990. Galapagos Island wildlife includes many
unique species that can be found nowhere else in the world. Examples include the Galapagos Land Iguana, the
Galapagos Marine Iguana (the only ocean going iguana), and the Galapagos Tortoise. The very endangered Galapagos
Green Turtle is also a native of the islands, and is thought to be a subspecies of the Pacific Green Turtle.
Closely related to the California Sea Lion is the Galapagos Sea Lion, which hunts and lives in the waters around
the islands, which are also home to the rare Galapagos Fur Seal.
The Great Frigatebird and Magnificent Frigatebird are popular Galapagos wildlife known for their displays, as is
the Blue Footed Booby. The Galapagos Penguin also lives in the islands. It's one of the smallest penguins in the
world, and the only one to live in equatorial waters. The Waved Albatross is the world's only tropical albatross,
and is also native to the Galapagos Islands. Predators aren't left out of the Galapagos wildlife, either. The
Galapagos hawk is the islands main scavenger and preys on small animals. In addition to these specific birds, there
are also four species of unique mockingbirds, the first animals that Darwin noticed were different on different
islands. Also, the thirteen species referred to as Darwin's Finches live here, including the Vampire Finch - a
There are many threats to Galapagos Island wildlife, too. Introduced animals, including cattle and goats, cats,
dogs, rats, and others, can destroy the habitats, young, and adults of the native animals. Since there are few
predators native to the islands, Galapagos wildlife have few defenses against introduced species. Introduced plants
are also a problem. Guava, avocado, citrus fruits and others invade areas of the islands and destroy native plants,
which means that the local wildlife loses food sources. Many of these species were introduced to the islands by
pirates, which used them as a refueling station. Conservation efforts in the islands can help reduce the effects of
these introduced species.
For an amazing adventure without the expense, learn all about the Galapagos Islands with our Galapagos Islands
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kate_Nevill