South Plaza & Santa Fe Islands

Feb 15, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


Today’s expedition started on an uplifted, one tenth of a square kilometer island, called South Plaza. This island is located in the center of the archipelago and surrounded by other islands, yet so unique. Because of its small size this island has the only type of hybrid iguana in the Galapagos. It is the offspring of male marine iguanas and female land iguanas due to the overlapping of territory of these two species. As we walked along the trail we observed the behavior of multiple yellow land iguanas and a hybrid iguana which climbed up a cactus tree to eat a flower. In the afternoon we moved to another island, called Santa Fe. This island has its own land iguana, only found here, and gets its name from the island, the Santa Fe land iguana. This land iguana is very similar to the yellow land iguana, yet different. For example its scales have a lighter color and its eyes are red. We had an amazing iguana day in the Galapagos Islands!

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About the Author

Gianna Haro

Naturalist

Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

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