Galapagos Islands

  • Recently, Ecuador has committed to spending millions of dollars annually for 20 years to protect one of the world’s most precious ecosystems, after the Swiss bank Credit Suisse announced buying Ecuadorian bonds worth $1.6 billion in a debt-for-nature swap that cost the Swiss bank just $644 million.

About Galapagos Islands

  • The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands, spread over almost 60,000 sq km , belonging to Ecuador.
  • The archipelago is located in the Eastern Pacific around the Equator with island chain stretching in both northern and southern hemispheres.
  • The archipelago is located on the Nazca Plate (a tectonic plate), which is moving east/southeast, diving under the South American Plate.
  • Ecuador made a part of the Galapagos a wildlife sanctuary in 1935, and the sanctuary became the Galapagos National Park in 1959.
    • In 1978, the islands became UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site.
  • It contains aquatic species such as manta rays and sharks which have been endangered by commercial fishing.
  • It also hosts a wide array of aquatic wildlife, including marine iguanas, and waved albatrosses.
  • Galápagos is home to the critically endangeredGalápagos penguin, Galápagos fur seal and Galápagos sea lion.
  • Also, the giant tortoises found here – ‘Galápagos’ in old Spanish – give the islands its name.
  • The British naturalist Charles Darwin made key observations in 1835 that shaped his ‘theory of evolution’.
    • He described the islands as a “world in itself”.


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