Species Endangered in the Galápagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are known worldwide for their incomparable beauty. It can be appreciated in its volcanic landscapes and its biodiversity. They transport you to a new world also make up the second largest marine reserve in the world. Species that inhabit the Galapagos Islands. They were the main inspiration of Charles Darwin to write his theory of evolution.

The Galapagos Islands were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. They are found in the Pacific Ocean 1000 Kilometers from the Ecuadorian coasts.

Endangered species - Galapagos

Despite the care taken to protect the wonderful existing paradise in Galapagos. Several endemic species have been exposed to various factors. For this reason, they are on the verge of extinction.

The main species of the Galapagos Islands in danger of extinction are:

 Giant tortoise

It is the largest species of turtle in the world. It can measure 1.5 meters (5 ft) and exceed 300 kilograms. Their life expectancy is estimated to be between 100 years to 170 years depending on their protection. And the best known representative of this species is the solitary George. Also, their main threat is predators. They constantly attack the eggs and young. But, this species is extinct since 2012.

 Wavy albatro

It is a protected within the Galapagos National Park. Also, it is native to the Spanish island, settles in areas near the lava. They can measure between 85 to 90 centimeters (3 ft). One of the main risks they run is because of the hooks. And they die while searching for food. For this reason, their state of vulnerability is critical.

Terrestrial iguana

Located on Isabela Island and Santa Cruz Island. And are herbivores and reach 1 meter in length (3 feet), their life expectancy is 55 years. Is classified as vulnerable. Due to the large number of natural predators.

 Galapagos penguin

Located on Isabela and Fernandina islands. The third smallest penguin species in the world. They measure up to 50 centimeters (1.5 ft), their life expectancy is 20 years.

Expert swimmers and very fast. They can easily reach 35 kilometers per hour and the main causes of their population decline are:

  • Predators
  • Climate change that prevents their reproduction and breeding.

Mangrove finch

This species is called part of the Darwin Finches. Since it was part of the specimens studied by Charles Darwin. To write the origin of the species. In addition, this species is small reaching 20 centimeters and with a life expectancy of 20 years.

It is an insectivorous bird, but it can change its diet depending on the environment around it. In this way it is easier to obtain food.

It is in a critical state of extinction. There are two potential predators, rats, and cats.

Why are species endangered?

There are many reasons why the species of the Galapagos Islands are endangered. Among them are:

Contamination of the islands by debris:

There is pollution around the islands. This is due to waste, especially plastics that are thrown into the sea. Because of this some marine species consume this debris as daily food. And this causes illness or even the death of a species. 

 Habitat destruction

Because of the multiple buildings that are constructed on the islands. Habitat deterioration has been caused, especially in areas with the greatest number of species. For this reason, some have had to migrate. While others have been disappearing.

Species introduction

It must be taken into account that the Galapagos Islands receive a large number of visitors. And they are usually foreign visitors as well as nationals. Sometimes people bring animals that do not belong to the islands. Such as cats, dogs and even rats, which have a great reproductive capacity. Too, invade the habitat of endemic species. And they become predators.

Species trafficking

Galapagos being a site with endemic animal, unique in the world. It causes much interest in many people to have a specimen. Thus, there have been constant attempts to take these species from the island. Even the way to take them is usually in very bad conditions. Causing them diseases, injuries and even death.

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