The scientific efforts in Santa Cruz

The legacy of Charles Darwin continues nowadays on Santa Cruz Island, at a Research Station named after him, which oversees the development of policies that the Galapagos National Park could implement to preserve and protect the islands’ ecosystem. It also investigates the natural habitat of endemic species and how to preserve the resources required for their prosperity!

Despite the fact that he was only in the Galapagos for five weeks in 1835, Charles Darwin was inspired by the wildlife in the islands to develop his Theory of Evolution or Natural Selection. His legacy continues now on Santa Cruz Island, at Charles Darwin Research Station, which oversees the development of policies that the Galapagos National Park could implement to preserve and protect the islands’ ecosystem.

The most famous examples of Darwin’s theory are fourteen species of birds that are endemic to the islands, commonly known as Darwin’s finches. Now, imagine you were one of those finches. There’s an epidemic of introduced parasitic flies that were laying their eggs in your nest. One fatal day, the eggs hatch, and the flies start attacking your chicks. You would think that is some sort of horror story for kids. Unfortunately, it is very much real. Reducing the population of flies is one of the most recent projects that the Charles Darwin Foundation has tackled.

While they are trying to reduce the population of flies, they are also trying to restore the populations of nine different endemic tortoise species, which have been decreased due to larger prey, lack of food and water, and captivity.

The foundation’s program is regarded as one of the most successful conservation programs in the world. This is very important, for conserving wildlife means conserving our planet for future generations to enjoy our natural world and the incredible species that live within it. But protecting wildlife is not enough: it is also necessary to understand how species interact within their ecosystems, and how they’re affected by environmental and human influences. To accomplish this, the interpretation center makes for a great introduction to the archipelago’s volcanic origins and unique species, as well as the giant tortoise breeding program.

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