26 December 2011

Land of Reptiles...GALAPAGOS (19 Nov)

This Land Iguana was found slumbering on North Seymour island on our first afternoon of our Galapagos cruise. This is an endemic species to the Galapagos, and one that is not too widespread these days. Like many Galapagos species it has undergone decline due to introduced pests by human habitation of the islands, (namely goats, dogs, and cats in the case of the iguana that predate the young especially). The nature of this decline can be fully understood when you look back at a quote from Charles Darwin himself:

"I cannot give a more forcible proof of their numbers, than by stating that when we were at James Island, we could not for some time find a spot free from their burrows on which to pitch our single tent.”
(Darwin 1845)

We only saw two wild ones in our whole time on the islands by comparison, although having said all of that the re-introduction programs are going well. Don't forget to look for them on North Seymour or Baltra if you visit, as these may be the only chances you get to find them!

On to the island of Santa Cruz next...

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