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Dec 21, 2007
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Newburyport, MA
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A few shots from a recent trip to the Galapagos. The islands are a wildlife photographer's dream. A remarkable place and truly the trip of a lifetime! C&C is appreciated or just take a look and enjoy. Cheers.

1. This a a Blue Footed Booby, one of the favorite species in the Galapagos. When the first whalers, pirates, and explorers came to the islands in the 18th century boobys were often caught by hand thus earning them the name "booby." Despite this, however, boobys are graceful seabirds and can be observed dive bombing fish from 30ft in the air.


2. This is a baby Galapagos Tortoise, just 21 days old hatched at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Breeding programs like this one have helped repopulate the islands with these magnificent creatures. Over the course of three centuries an estimated 200,000 giant tortoises were taken off the islands by whalers and pirates. They were placed in ships' holds where they could survive with no food or water for up to a year. After five years in a breeding center the baby tortoises are released back into the wild where they are expected to live for some 200 years.


3. Sally Lightfoot crabs sport an odd color combination. Vibrant reds and oranges on top with light blue on the bottom. They're almost always found clinging to the porous volcanic rocks in the surf zone.




5. To attract a mate male Blue Footed Boobys raise and lower their feet in a slow and dignified dance while bobbing their heads in the air and flapping their wings. Surely a highlight of any Galapagos visit.


6. Grass is very tasty if you're a Galapagos tortoise.

Fantastic images...The Galapagos would be a dream trip for me.
The Galapagos is a dream destination for me to get to 'someday' as well! Love the pics. Thanks for sharing them.
VERY cool stuff!
Laser, have they started trying to reduce the number of tourists to the islands ?
I have heard that they need to reduce the impact of human influence to preserve the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

Nice shots.

My Wife and I have always planned a trip to the islands.

No Iguana's ?
Most excellent!
dxqcanada, glad you asked. Tourism on the islands is the largest money maker for the the local economy and, accordingly, the number of tourists that come to the islands is substantial. However, the Galapagos Islands were declared a World Heritage Site many years ago and the Ecuadorian people and government respect the natural beauty of the islands. Therefore the tourism infrastructure on the islands is minimal and certainly nothing at all like the Caribbean. Furthermore, there are about 12 main islands of which only five are inhabited. The total population of the islands is around 40,000 most of whom were born there, fish there, or work in the tourism industry.

Of all the land mass in the islands 98% is National Park which is stricly controlled. There are marked visitor sites with paths and you must be accompanied by a naturalist guide (usually part of the crew of the boat you're staying on). When I was there, there wasn't too much talk of expanding the tourism infrastructure. All of the boats that operate in the Galapagos are crewed by local people and just about everyone seems to be happy with the balance.

I should point out that the only way to travel in the Galapagos is to fly to the islands from mainland Ecuador and immediately get on a boat. There are so many islands and far enough apart that a boat is the only logical choice. Boats can range from 16 passengers to 100. You have a cabin and all meals provided for. The boat travels between islands while you sleep. Given this, there isn't much need for infrastructure built on land, apart from a few souvineer and dive shops. The Galapagos is just an incredible place and while you are on land, try to meet as many people as you can. The locals are extremely happy to share their wonderful home with you so long as you respect it.

And yes, the iguanas are spectacular.







Beautiful shots and thanks for the info too.

Truly fascinating.

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