These photographs taken in April 2002, and June 2003, represent an ongoing exploration of the Galapagos archipelago; it's natural history, and the impact of man on the islands.
The Galapagos Islands lie 600 miles due west from the coast of Ecuador, straddling the equator. Home to many unusual fauna, they are famous for their gigantic tortoises and Marine Iguanas.
Charles Darwin visited the Islands in in 1826, and used findings and collections of birds, to make his theory of evolution. The Origin of Species published in 1859, revolutionized the science of natural history. Since that time scientists have visited the Islands to study the plants and animals, using the islands as a living laboratory.
The Ecuadorian government established a national park to protect the land and marine life in the archipelago. In 1959 on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species, an international group of scientists founded the Charles Darwin Foundation, and established the Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz Island. The Center has attracted scientists word wide who study the islands. They have set up breeding programs that brought endangered species of tortoises and land Iguanas back to sustainable populations, back from the brink of extinction. Scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station also study the impact of invasive animals and plants on the islands and have set up eradication programs to stop the spread of invasive plants, and feral animals.
Large areas of Santiago Island have been striped of vegetation because of feral goat populations, the islands of Isabella, Santa Cruz and San Christubal have fast growing towns, and large areas of farmland. There is immigration from mainland Ecuador, and effects of the globalization are straining natural resources. My plans are to make another 3 trips over the next three years, and to post additional pages to the site, after each visit.