INTRODUCTION Galapagos is a wonderful place, filled with bizarre wildlife. I think it is one of the must see places on my list. Many of you are probably thinking what is the Galapagos? Or where is it? This Power Point will tell about all of the great things on the Galapagos.
BASIC INFORMATION The Galápagos Islands (official name: Archipiélago de Colón; and other Spanish names: Islas de Colón or Islas Galápagos) are an archipelago of volcanic islands spread around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km west of Ecuador, which is the country that claimed the Galapagos. It is famous for it’s wildlife. The Galápagos islands and its water around it form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. The common language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of around 23,000.
WHERE IS IT? The islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 973 km off the west coast of South America. The closest country in the mainland of Ecuador to the east (the country to which they belong), The islands are found at the coordinates 1°40N–1°36S, 89°16–92°01W. The Galapagos are on both sides of the equator, so islands are located in both the northern and southern hemisphere. But The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) says they belong the South Pacific Ocean. The Galápagos Archipelago consists of 7,880 km2 (3,040 sq mi) of land spread over 45,000 km2 (17,000 sq mi) of ocean. The largest of the islands, Isabela, is 4,640 km2 (1,790 sq mi) and makes up half of the total land area of the Galápagos. The Wolf Volcano on Isabela is the highest point, with an height of 1,707 m (5,600 ft) above sea level. The group consists of 15 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets. The oldest island is thought to have formed between 5 million and 10 million years ago. The youngest islands, Isabela and Fernandina, are still being formed, with the most recent volcanic eruption in April 2009.
HISTORY The Galápagos Islands were found when Spaniard Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the fourth Bishop of Panama, sailed to Peru to settle an argument between Francisco Pizarro and his lieutenants. De Berlangas ship drifted off course when there was a storm, and reached the islands on 10 March 1535. The islands first appeared on maps, in about 1570, drawn by Abraham Ortelius and Mercator. The islands were called "Insulae de los Galopegos" (Islands of the Tortoises). The first English captain to visit the Galápagos Islands was Richard Hawkins, in 1593. Until the early 19th century, the archipelago was often used as a hideout by English pirates who stole from Spanish sailors who had gold and silver that was going from South America to Spain. In 1793, James Colnett described the flora and fauna of Galápagos, and suggested the islands could be used as for the whalers who are in the Pacific Ocean. He also drew the first accurate map of the islands. Whalers and maritime fur trader killed and captured thousands of the Galápagos tortoises for their fat. The tortoises could also be kept on board ship for fresh meat , these animals could survive for several months on board without any food or water. Soon the turtles were almost extinct.
THE MAIN/MINOR ISLANDSMAIN MINOR Baltra (South Seymour) Island Daphne Major Bartolomé (Bartholomew) Island Darwin (Culpepper) Island South Plaza Island Española (Hood) Island Nameless Island Fernandina (Narborough) Island Floreana (Charles or Santa María) Island Genovesa (Tower) Island Isabela (Albemarle) Island (Ecuador) Marchena (Bindloe) Island North Seymour Island Pinzón (Duncan) Island Pinta (Abingdon) Island Rábida (Jervis) Island San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island (Galápagos Santa Fé (Barrington) Island Santiago (San Salvador, James) Island (Galápagos Wolf (Wenman) Island
THE FAMOUS WILDLIFE Galapagos green turtle Galapagos Tortoise Galápagos land iguanas, Conolophus spp. Marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus, the only iguana feeding in the sea Galápagos tortoise (Galápagos giant tortoise), Geochelone elephantopus, known as Galápagos in Spanish, it gave the name to the islands Galápagos green turtle, Chelonia mydas agassisi, a type of the green turtle Sea cucumbers, the cause of environmental battles with fishermen over this expensive seafood Flightless cormorant, Phalacrocorax harrisi Great frigatebird and magnificent frigatebird Blue-footed booby, Sula nebouxii, popular among visitors for their large blue feet winch they show off in courtship Galápagos penguin, Spheniscus mendiculus, the only living tropical penguin Waved albatross, Phoebastria irrorata, the only living tropical albatross Galápagos hawk, Buteo galapagoensis, the islands main scavenger and "environmental police" Four common species of Galápagos mockingbirds Thirteen endemic species of tanagers, popularly called Darwins finches. Among them is the sharp- beaked ground finch Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis which is sometimes called the "vampire finch" for its blood-sucking habits, and the tool-using woodpecker finch, Camarhynchus pallidus Galápagos sea lions, Zalophus wollebaeki, closely related to the California sea lion, but smaller Marine Iguana Galapagos PenguinBlue- footedbooby
HOW THE WILDLIFE GOT THEREThere are a few different ways on how the animals got to these islands. Flyers: Flying to the Galapagos Windsurfers: By riding the wind currents that lead to the Galapagos Floaters: Floating, without any food or water, just float. Rafters: Using some kind of raft, like a piece of wood. Swimmers: swimming here, may have been looking for new habitat. (fish, sharks) All these animals got here by using one of these methods. These were volcanic islands, so there weren’t much vegetation. The animals had to adapt to the surroundings. For example, the marine iguana needed to eat plants, but there isn’t any, so they go into the water to eat algae. Notice that there is no amphibians in the Galapagos. The thin skin of the amphibians could not sustain them for the long journey to the Galapagos.
CLIMATE Although located on the Equator, the Humboldt Current brings cold water to the islands, causing many drizzles during most of the year. The weather is influenced by the El Niño phenomenon, which brings warmer temperatures and heavy rains. During the season known as the garua (June to November), the temperature by the sea is 22°C (72°F), a steady and cold wind blows from south and southeast, there are a lot of drizzle for most of the day, and dense fog hides the islands. During the warm season (December to May), the average sea and air temperature rises to 25°C (77°F), there is no wind at all. Rain falls when the sun shines and the rain is very strong, Weather changes as you go higher in the large islands. Temperature goes down gradually the higher you go, while rain increases because of the moisture in clouds on the mountains. There is a lot of different kinds of rain from one place to another, not only with height, but also depending on the location of the islands, and the seasons.
CULTURE Most of the men work as Fishermen which has always been an important source of income for Galapagos families. Fishing is done on small boats. But since 1970 Galapagos Tourism is becoming more and more an important source of income to these Islands. In general, clothes are very similar to the ones in mainland Ecuador, people is very warm, friendly and always willing to help visitors. The population in Galapagos is around 18,000. Men and children love to play soccer and even more in 2006 when the Ecuadorian National soccer team participated in the Soccer World Cup in Germany, which they did great. Ecuavolley or Ecuadorian volleyball is also a very common sport, it is a volleyball game but it is played a bit different to traditional volleyball. The ball is a soccer ball and there are only three players per team. (more info below) Galapagos culture is a mixture between the people that came from the highlands, the Amazon Jungle and the coast of Ecuador. People and scientists, especially from USA and Europe have also become a part of the culture in Galapagos and pleasantly got used to the delicious Galapagos Islands Food People from the highlands of Ecuador tend to speak more calmly and slowly than the people from the coast of Ecuador who speak faster and loudly.Ecuadorian volleyball (Ecuavolley)A volleyball variation that is played with two 3-player teams usually indoors or cement courts with a higher net (2.75m - 2.80m) anduses a soccer ball. In this type of volleyball the basics are the same but you are allowed to slightly hold the ball in your hands beforepassing it. The 3 different types of players: the placer (sp. colocador), the server (sp. servidor), and the flyer (sp. volador). The flyerplays behind the placer and the server and runs quickly from one side to another recovering balls. Usually the flyer recovers the ballfor the server. The server sets the ball in the air so that the placer can pass the ball over the net. The placer places the ball on theopposite court in a strategic manner, in an attempt to fool the other team of where it is going to land. This game is popular in Ecuador,and is so popular that it is played in the United States and Europe.
FOOD There is a lot of seafood and it is very popular in the Galapagos. Vocabulary of food preparation: All kinds of fish, lobster and sea cucumber can be enjoyed in the major towns. Galapagos food is incredibly diverse, and it is very similar to the A la brasa: grilled food from Ecuador. One example is pastries stuffed with spiced Al vapor: steamed meats. Apanado: batter-fried/breaded Some dishes from the highlands are (meat, potatoes, grains, vegetables) as well as from the Coast of Ecuador (fish, shrimp, Brosterizado: deep-fried yuca). Encocado: stewed in coconut The seafood in Galapagos is spectacular and fresh. There is Frito: pan-fried also a great variety of fresh fruit and vegetables produced in the Islands. Hornado: roasted Some examples are: the ceviche (shrimps marinated in lemon Reventado: skillet-fried and onions), encebollado (a delicious soup with fish), lobsters Seco: stewed meat plate and the famous sea cucumbers. The Galápagos has delicious fruit juices, (jugos) including naranjilla (a cross between an orange and a tomato), tree tomato, mora (blackberry), guanabana (a luscious thick aromatic sweet white juice), maracuya (passion fruit) and papaya.
Kicker Rock FAMOUS SITES Cerro Brujo: Cerro Brujo is a very striking, worn tuff cone. The area has a bit of history attached to it as well as this was one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. La Galapaguera: This is a 4-6 hour tiring hike, but the reward is an excellent opportunity to get a look at a large number of giant tortoises in the wild. Kicker Rock: Kicker Rock is the remains of a vertical tuff conformation, abruptly rising almost 500 ft from the ocean. Erosion has split the rock and given it its characteristic shape, which some see as shoe, the origin of the name Kicker Rock. Punta Suarez: The tourist trail is about 2km long and leads from one end of the island to the other and look spectacular birds. There are many blue-footed boobies nesting there. Post Office Bay a wet landing at a not very scenic location. However, it has a lot of history. In the late 18th Century, whaling ships started to leave letters for home in a barrel. The idea was that ships on their journey outwards would leave letters for ships that are going home to collect. The tradition has continued and it is possible to leave postcards which will be collected by other tourists from the same part of the world and posted by them. Los Gemelos: These are two large craters in the middle of the island, either side of the one road crossing the island. They are the remains of volcanic magma chambers which collapsed and the vertical sides are now covered with vegetation. James Bay: Located on the west side of James Island, the wet landing on the dark sands of Puerto Egas, James Bay leads has a trail that leads inland to the remains of a salt mining operation. Punta Albemarle located at the northern tip of Isabela, Punta Albemarle was used as a radar base by the U.S. during World War II. As you sail past, the abandoned water tanks can be seen through a pair of binoculars. The waters in this region seem to have a lot of animals, and there are excellent chances for seeing whales here.
PROTECTING WILDLIFE Though the first protective legislation for the Galápagos was established in 1934 and added to in 1936, but the late 1950s, people decided that they needed to do something about what was happening to the native plants and animals. In 1959, the centenary year of Charles Darwins publication of The Origin of Species, the Ecuadorian government declared 97.5% of the archipelagos land area is a national park, In 1986, the 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 sq mi.) of ocean surrounding the islands was declared a marine reserve, its size is second in the world, right after Australias Great Barrier Reef. In 1990, the archipelago became a whale shelter. UNESCO recognized the islands in 1978 as a World Heritage Site and in 1985, as a biosphere reserve. In July 2010, the World Heritage Committee agreed to remove the Galapagos Islands from its list of precious sites endangered by environmental threats or overuse.
INTERESTING FACTS More than sixty volcanic eruptions have been documented over the last two hundred years in the Galapagos region. During the nineteenth century, whaling ships were a common sight in Galapagos waters. Sperm whales once swam in large pods around the islands. Today, orcas can be seen hunting sperm whales in Galapagos waters. Orcas also feed on Galapagos sea lions, sharks, and rays. Herman Melville was so fascinated with the islands that he wrote a series of essays about them in his work The Encantadas. Charles Darwin was twenty-six when he first saw the Galapagos Islands. His observations about life on the islands eventually led to his famed theory of evolution. His On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published in 1859. Darwin Island, one of the main islands in the archipelago, is named for the naturalist. There are thirteen species of Darwins finches endemic to the islands. These birds are famous for their beaks. The islands marine iguanas are only found in the Galapagos region. These are the only marine lizards found anywhere in the world. The notorious scolopendra centipede lives on the islands and frequently dines on lava lizards and even young rats. These creatures grow to about thirty centimeters. The famous Galapagos penguin is the only type of penguin to live at the equator. An endangered species, there are less than 1500 left. Poisonous manzanillo apple trees are native to the islands. Both their fruit and sap are toxic. The islands and their waters are a World Heritage Site. Galapagos is divided in 3 ocean zones: A) Central and Southern Islands (most fish species), B) Northern Islands (warmest waters), and C) Western Islands (coolest waters). The Galapagos was rated as Worlds # 1 Scuba Diving Vacation destination in the Pacific Ocean by Rodales Scuba Diving from 2000-2002.
LINKS Interactive Tour of the Galapagos http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/galapagos/ax /main_fs.html
CONCLUSION That’s pretty much everything about the Galapagos, an island paradise, its beautiful wildlife. The Galapagos is a great place and I hope I get to visit it sometime. Thanks for watching!