Santa Cruz: Dragon Hill, Gay Fawkes, Eden and Daphne Major Islet

Mar 27, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today we visited the northwestern region of Santa Cruz Island, Dragon Hill. The land iguana population from this part of the archipelago was decimated in the past due to the presence of feral dogs back in the 1970s. However, thanks to the restoration efforts of the Galapagos National Park, this population of land iguanas is now thriving.

Later in the morning, the Zodiacs took us to Guy Fawkes Islets. Our guests had the opportunity to go deep-water snorkeling, and observed yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, and parrotfish, and many other species of colorful fish.

In the afternoon we drove the Zodiacs around Eden Islet and mangrove communities. We observed blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies; juveniles hammerhead sharks and black-tipped reef sharks. Later in the afternoon, National Geographic Endeavor II sailed around Daphne Major, and our guests learned about the research that Peter and Rosemary Grant have been conducting on the Darwin finches for more than forty years.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza


Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

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