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Endemic Wildlife

The Fragile Ecosystems and Galapagos Wildlife are Carefully Protected

The most common and famous reptiles you will see in the Galapagos include the giant tortoise and three iguana species, as well as lava lizard and snake. Special birds include the Galapagos penguin, waved albatross, Galapagos hawk, and flightless cormorant. Galapagos sea lion are the most famous endemic mammals.

Endemic species in the Galapagos are protected; sea lion are monitored, penguin and cormorant are counted every year, and hawk are tagged. Sadly, the Galapagos petrel and the floreana mockingbird have such low numbers that researchers count individuals. The Galapagos pink iguana only lives on one volcano on Isabela Island, and that island is volcanically active. Should that volcano erupt, the whole population could easily be wiped out.
 
The biggest problem of all, however, is the threat of invasive species, introduced by humans in the last 300 years. Today the Charles Darwin Foundation is having some success in eradicating invasive plants and animals, returning the islands to their natural, native state.