This blog is a collaborative effort of GC staff, colleagues, scientists, supporters, and friends. This space will be used to share amazing stories about all things Galapagos and our efforts to conserve these treasured islands.

Galapagos and Beyond: February 2015 Roundup

Scientists pinpoint genes that give Darwin's finches their distinctive beaks

In a journal article published earlier this month in Nature, scientists revealed the genetic changes that gave Darwin's finches — the Galapagos finches critical to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution — their evolving beaks. There are 15 recognized species of finches that descended from the original Galapagos finch, each with unique adaptations for survival. Princeton University researchers Peter and Rosemary Grant, who have dedicated their careers to studying Darwin's finches, had this to say about the findings: "You can imagine how satisfying it is for us after all those years in the field to be able to discover a gene that underpins our findings of evolution by natural selection." Read the journal article, or visit the Washington Post for a summary of the findings.  

 

2015 Darwin Day Recap: Fonts, Funnies and More

Speaking of Charles Darwin, February 12 marked the annual Darwin Day, which commemorated the 206th anniversary of the birth of famous naturalist Charles Darwin. This year, we received nearly 1,000 "likes" on our Facebook post of the image at left — confirming that our supporters truly appreciate the man who brought the world his theory of evolution. To celebrate the occasion, Exodus Travel created a nifty comic strip on Darwin's life and legacy, and a member of the Science Communication Department at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel created a downloadable "Darwin font," along with a short article about Darwin's life. Enjoy!

 

Ecuador at the Super Bowl 

Ecuador became the first foreign country to purchase a 30-second commercial promoting tourism during the Super Bowl broadcast earlier this month. The commercial contained a montage of Ecuadorian landscapes set to a rendition of the classic Beatles' tune "All You Need is Love," which is part of the country's "All You Need is Ecuador" campaign. According to the Ecuadorian government, tourism has increased by 14% since the launch of the campaign last year. View it now.

 

Galapagos Voted Best Place for Wildlife 

Galapagos was named the world's Best Place for Wildlife this month based on a four-week reader poll by USA TODAY and 10Best. The Enchanted Islands beat the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon for the honor, another wildlife-centric destination and home to some of the largest Amazonian wildlife populations. Other winners in the top five included Costa Rica, the Brazilian Pantanal, and Alaska's Katmai National Park. View all ten winners.

 

 

Galapagos and Beyond: January 2015 Roundup

  Watch: Undoing the Damage to the Galapagos   This 6-minute video produced by MSNBC explores the impacts of human activity in the Galapagos Islands and ongoing efforts to minimize these impacts. Watch Dr. Linda Cayot, GC’s Science Advisor, and …

Expedition to Wolf Volcano to Search for Tortoises

Home of the hybrid tortoises with lineages from Pinta and Floreana Islands  By Wacho Tapia, Director of the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative (GTRI) Wolf is the highest volcano in the Galapagos Archipelago, and one of the most challenging for field …

Retortoising Galapagos: An Action Plan for 2015

This year, 2015, will see the Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative in full swing, with collaborators from across the globe working with the Galapagos National Park to restore tortoise populations to islands where they are extinct in the wild. It may …

Galapagos 2014: Year in Review

It’s been a great year for conservation in Galapagos, from hand-rearing endangered mangrove finches to repatriating tortoises to their islands of origin. Here are ten of our favorite stories from 2014: 1. The Galapagos Tortoise Webcams Come to Life With …

Pinzón Island Giant Tortoise Population Survey: Part 2

  By guest author Dr. James Gibbs of the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF).   It’s our third day on Pinzón Island and we are huddled beneath a muyuyo tree taking a break …

Preparing for the Pinzón Island Giant Tortoise Population Survey

By guest author Dr. James Gibbs of the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF).   Wed Dec 3 2014 455 PM: Pre-trip log We have a few moments to relax after several days frantically preparing for …
Tortoise Cam

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