Española Island

Nov 05, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Española is the most southeastern island of the archipelago. It is actually an old shield volcano that is slowly but surely losing the battle against the elements after drifting over 200 kilometers from its birthplace on top of the Nazca plate, effectively losing all influence of the Galapagos Hotspot, the life force that fuels most volcanic activity in this group of islands. Despite being presently only a fraction of its original size, it is still home to vast numbers of sea birds, most notably the largest bird in the Galapagos, the waved albatross that only breeds on this particular island and nowhere else on earth. The island is also home to a species of mockingbird and lava lizard, both endemic to not only the archipelago but also specific to Española. We explored the northeastern end of the island at Gardner Bay during the morning and the western end at Suarez Point during the afternoon.

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About the Author

Benjamin Ayala


Ben is a German-Ecuadorian naturalist guide who grew up on San Cristobal, the eastern-most island of the Galápagos Archipelago, home to the political capital of the province.

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