Category Archives: Wildlife

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Island Hopping in the Galapagos

Island-hopping in the Galapagos Islands gives you more flexibility to choose activities, schedule free time to explore independently, and discover the hidden gems that make the islands an incredible place to visit.

We can create custom programs that offer the best of the land and sea. Keep reading for some of the options for an epic journey and the activities that you can do while in the archipelago.

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Fun Facts About Galapagos Penguins

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One fun activity that travellers who visit the Galapagos can do is swim or snorkel with penguins. The Galapagos penguin is one of the smallest in the world, and the only of its species found north of the equator.

Keep Reading for some fun facts about penguins in the Galapagos, and some of the places where you can find them while in the islands.

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The Wildlife of the Galapagos

A journey to the Galapagos Islands is a fun immersion into the endemic animals that call the archipelago home. Few other places in the world have such a diversity of species that vie for the attention around every turn.

The remote location of the islands is an enclave of nature where predators are in short supply. This lends itself to seeing animals that aren’t afraid of encounters with people, making the trip unlike those to other natural hotspots.

Keep reading for an overview of some of the fascinating animals that you can expect to see during your time in the islands.

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Charles Darwin’s Galapagos Finches

galapagos-finches-ecuadorFinches were one of the many birds Darwin studied in the Galápagos Islands before publishing his monumental work on natural selection. Today, the mangrove finch is on the verge of extinction in the Galápagos. There are around 100 left, with just 20 breeding pairs. To keep the finches from disappearing altogether, the Charles Darwin Research Station and San Diego Zoo have engaged in a captive breeding program.

Recently, a third group of fledging mangrove finches were released on Isabela island. All birds are fitted with miniature tracking devices. Some returned to the aviary, but several finches released in past years have been seen in the wild. This showed finches raised in captivity are able to survive long-term.

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Alpacas of Ecuador’s Andes

camelids-llamas-alpacasAlpacas roam the slopes of the Cotacachi Volcano. They belong to the indigenous community of Morochos. José Flores, vice-president of the community, says the alpacas are the best friends of the highland moors (páramos). He explains the animals don’t affect the topsoil because their legs have pads and their teeth cut the grass like scissors. That’s why the community decided to introduce Peruvian alpacas (currently 57) to replace cattle whose hooves eroded the surface of the moor. The area near the top of the volcano is considered an important buffer zone to the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve.

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