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August 25, 2020
Recent monitoring of Galapagos marine iguanas at the Playa de los Perros visitor site on Santa Cruz Island shows that the population is stable and in good health. Park rangers from the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) have conducted regular monitoring of marine iguana populations for the past seven years, which was initiated by sightings of many underweight and dead iguanas in various areas around Galapagos. That situation was related to the low production of green and red algae, their primary food source, which coincided with the warming of ocean temperatures.
According to GNPD technicians, food availability is just one factor that can impact weight changes in marine iguanas. In the case of males, for example, effort to breed during the breeding season and the defense of their harem in the presence of other males can contribute to weight changes, and in females the construction of nests and days spent in it can affect their weight.
Galapagos Conservancy is an important source of financial support for the Park; our annual support helps them carry out important monitoring activities of wildlife populations around the Islands.