Know About Galapagos Island Controversy

Recently Galapagos Island is in news due to various controversial issues.The Galapagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago found in Pacific Ocean. Let’s learn.

What is an archipelago?
An archipelago is a chain or group of islands scattered in lakes, rivers, or the ocean.The word “archipelago” originated from the medieval Italian word archi, means chief or principal, and the Greek word pelagus, means gulf or pond.


Know About Galapagos Island Controversy

Why is Galapagos Island in News?

There are too many events which negatively impacted on this ‘Gift to conservation‘ of Ecuador.

  • Tonnes of plastic waste piled up on the shores of the Galapagos Islands where these toxic microparticles end up in the stomachs of various endangered aquatic species found only in this Pacific archipelago.
  • Recently a giant male tortoise named Diego was retired from the captive breeding programme at Galapagos National Park and is sent to his biological home in Española Island, Ecuador.
  • Chinese fishing fleet illegally entered into the Galapagos region and Ecuador has officially expressed its “discomfort” over this issue.
  • Administrative government announced a ban on fireworks on the Galapagos Islands to protect the archipelago’s unique fauna.
  • Ecuador recently activated emergency protocols to contain the environmental impact of a fuel spill in a port on San Cristobal Island of the Galapagos Islands territory, after a barge carrying 600 gallons of diesel fuel sank in the region.
Know The Geographical Position of Galapagos Island
  • Galapagos Islands is distributed on the either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The Island surrounds the centre of the Western Hemisphere.
  • Galapagos Islands is located at 906 km away from west bank of Ecuador.
  • The islands was formed at the meeting point of three tectonic plates Nazca, cocos and pacific

Geographical Position of Galapagos Island

Image Source: Google Map

  • Galapagos Islands is an administrative province under Ecuador.
  • The Galapagos National Park, and the Galapagos Marine Reserve are very famous ecological hotspot in this archipelago.The Galapagos National park was established in 1959 and it is Ecuador’s first national park.
  • The Humboldt Current which is also called as the Peru Current, is a cold and low-salinity ocean current that flows north along the western coast of South America. The Humboldt Current or Peru Current is a highly productive ecosystem. It accounts for almost 18-20% of the total worldwide marine fish catch.
  • The Humboldt Current or Peru Current flows specially in August month.Chinese fishing ships are frequent in Ecuador’s waters during august month as the cold Humboldt Current is full of nutrients that creates a high congregation of hammerhead sharks. 
Do You Know?
Ecuador made a wildlife sanctuary in 1935, and the sanctuary was converted into the Galapagos National Park in 1959. Galapagos Island became UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site in 1978.
Chief Concerns
  • Sun rays and the ocean’s saltwater breaking down the plastic bottles, bags, containers and fishing nets that come sea route thus destroying local habitat as the tiny plastic pieces become part of the food chain. These micro-particles are imposing great threats to the iguanas, birds, tortoises and fish of the Galapagos.
  • Animals are suffering from changed behaviour and the ecological change affected their survival of species inhabiting this World Heritage Site.
Know the facts
More than 90 percent of the waste gathered at the seashore of Galapagos islands come from South America and Central America.

     Ecosystems of Galapagos Island is very sensitive and fragile. The island is experiencing many man made hazards one after another, causing environmental risk to its natural bio-diversity and thus threatening UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site.

Besides it is also to be noted that the archipelago is known for its large number of endemic species such as land iguana, giant tortoise that were studied by Charles Darwin which contributed to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Galapagos Island is a real ‘Gift to conservation’, not only for Ecuador but also for the planet. Protection and preservation of such ecological hotspot is highly needed, as it is gradually getting eaten by the uncontrolled human activities.

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