Jan 04, 2018 - National Geographic Islander
Today’s expedition started on an uplifted island formed from volcanic seismic activities on the plates that form the Galapagos platform. This island is home to one the four species of iguanas found in the Galapagos Islands, Conolophus subcristatus, the Galapagos land iguana, also present on other five islands in the center of the Archipelago. The expedition continued in the water with some snorkeling and kayaking where we were able to spot eagle rays, sea lions and white-tipped reef sharks. In the afternoon the ship moved to a new location and we got to hike up Santa Fe Island. This island is one of the best examples of island conservation in which introduced species, such as fire ants and goats, were eradicated and endemic animals to the Galapagos, such as the Espanola tortoise, was introduced to the island to replace the Santa Fe tortoise, which became extinct due to anthropogenic activity. On the hike we were fortunate to spot eight individuals of the Santa Fe land iguana, Conoluphus pallidus. As we waited for Zodiacs to take us back to the boat, we spotted five Galapagos hawks waiting for prey. Today’s expedition was overwhelmingly beautiful, full of life everywhere we looked.
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