History Of The Galapagos Islands

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The Galapagos Islands is an archipelago of roughly 19 islands and several smaller islets, covering 620 miles off the Ecuadorian coast in the Pacific Ocean. Both the land and sea are protected, making the island a World Heritage site. The islands are recognized for its unique wildlife, especially because of the lack of predators. Visitors can interact with the friendly wildlife such as playful sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises, up close and personal. The incredible animal species served as the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution after his visit to the islands in 1835. Each of these actively volcanic isolated isles boasts its own set of unique species, but share similar environment, and climate. It is one of the most outstanding marine ecosystems in the world, situated at the confluence of three ocean currents.
Prior to Spanish discovery of the islands in 1535, there is little evidence to support any permanent settlement. Spaniard Fray Tomas de Berlanga’s vessel drifted off course on a trip to Peru and reached the islands. The English followed in 1593, and Irish sailor Patrick Watkins is believed to be the first to establish a permanent settlement on Floreana, when he was stranded between 1807 and 1809. In 1959, the Galapagos was designated a national park, and in the
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Tropical dwelling penguins, fur sea lions, giant tortoises, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and a variety of subspecies of mocking birds and Darwin’s finches, create a spectacular view of diversity in the animal life of the islands. There are approximately 9,000 endemic species living on Galapagos Islands and in surrounding waters. Endemic trees such as the giant daisy trees Scalesia, and large cacti also adds to the biodiversity of the region. Introduced animals and plants are now the biggest threats to these endemic
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