Dragon Hill and Eden Islet

May 09, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today we had a dry landing on a black lava field to explore an area off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, known as Dragon Hill.  This place was one of the areas where the National Park service has put some effort to control the numbers of introduced species and increase the density of endemic species such land iguanas.

Along the hike, we encountered brackish water lagoons along the coast, as well as migratory birds in it, like the black necked stilt, and white cheeked pintail ducks. Further into the island we passed by a big incense tree forest and a large dusty area where the endemic land iguanas nest. 

We found several land iguanas under the prickly pear cactus and others basking under the sun. We also spotted a few of the endemic birds here. We came back to the ship, and suited up for deep water snorkeling.  We saw a large variety of marine invertebrates and some playful sea lions during the snorkeling outing.

After lunch, we had a zodiac ride along the coast of Santa Cruz Island near Eden Islet. We encountered a few baby black tip reef sharks, brown pelicans nesting, blue-footed boobies dancing to their mates and some frigate birds along the coast.

After the ride, we listened to a talk on the human history of the Galapagos Islands, and circumnavigated around Daphne Major Island where Peter and Rosemary grant did their research about finches, later on imprinting this science on the book called “The beak of the finch”.

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About the Author

Jonathan Aguas

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jonathan was born into one of only a handful of families that reaches back five generations in Galápagos, in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island. He first left the islands when he won a highly-coveted scholarship to finish his studies in the U.S.  This was the start of his life-long passion for science and languages. He earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from the University of Florida and later spent time in Europe, where he learned French. He is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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