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Fauna - Galapagos

The characteristics of the fauna and flora make the Galapagos Islands as unique in the world. The extraordinary nature of the islands has impressed naturalists, scientists and various visitors. In 1930 starts the concern of the authorities of Ecuador and the world's scientists to avoid destroying the natural museum. In 1936, Ecuador reserve areas of flora and fauna to 14 islands.

The great scientific and tourist interest worldwide in the archipelago has been caused largely by the facility to observe different species of a variety of fauna including the giant turtle; their average life time is 150 years, of which 11 of the 14 remaining original subspecies.

The marine iguana is also very important because they constitute the only reptile adapted to life in the sea. Large number and variety of birds are of great interest to scientists and tourists, about 56 varieties inhabit the archipelago, about 27 are found only in Galapagos and some are endemic to one island.

Galapagos has a land and marine fauna very diverse and impressive as the marine and land iguanas, fur seal, Galapagos hawks, lava heron, Santa Fe land iguana, swallow-tailed gulls and lava, waved albatross, snake, frigates real and common, giant turtle, Darwin's finches, Galapagos bat, humpback, cormorant, the mockingbird, endemic rat, mouse in freshwater, flamingo, penguin in freshwater, living in colder areas, red and blue feet boobies, sea lions, lava lizards and swallow.

The remaining land animals such as goats, donkeys, pigs, horses, cows, dogs, cats and rats, has been introduced from the continent by pirates, whalers and settlers in recent centuries.

The Galapagos Islands are considered the world's greatest natural laboratory. Before Darwin's theory of species immunity was not challenged. The evolution theory of Darwin has changed the scientific landscape. When Charles Darwin visited the islands, he studied some species, mainly finches and tortoises, their studies, concluded that these species had evolved in different ways in each island. Nature had provided better suit the environment to increase their chances of survival.

According to the Park Management Plan states that the faunal biodiversity totals 137 species of which 108 are of birds, 12 mammals and 17 reptiles. In Galapagos there are no amphibians.

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Flora - Galapagos

It have been identified in the Archipelago 220 species of endemic plants, 399 native and 119 introduced; this flora was carried by the winds, the sea, or by men, birds migrating from the continent carrying in their feathers, beaks and feet some seeds and spores that could germinate in the soil insular changing with the passage of time, its own structure and physiology as a result of acclimation to the new way of life. Because of these adaptations some species of the islands are unique in the world, and many are similar to those of the American continent.

It is estimated that both the flora and fauna are not native to the islands, but were transported from the mainland. Seeds or spores that have moved from one island to another have led to entirely new species which has repeated the process of evolution.

All these species, as well as the zoological, have made the process of adaptation to the environment "as demonstrated by Darwin.

In low-lying islands desert landscapes are observed due to low humidity and lack of rain. . Instead, the highlands have more frequent rain showers and so they have a greater presence of vegetation.

In low wet area and other large ferns growing evergreen varieties. In the humid high (between 200 and 500 meters height) grow the Guayabillo, pasiflora, cafetillo, mosses, fungi, huaicundos. Abundant guava and citrus trees and other species of Andean paramo have been planted, as well as vegetables like corn and potato. The soils only reach a10% capacity for agriculture in total.

In the largest islands of Galapagos they are four ecological zones: coastal, low or dry, transition and wet. In the first zone they are species as arrayancillo, red, jeli, and white mangrove. In the second zone grow cactus, palo santo, carob, manzanillo, chala, and Muyuyo.

In the area of transition are the tallest trees, epiphytic plants, and perennial herbs. Among the most popular varieties are The “uña de gato”(cat's claw) and the cafetillo. And in the wet there cogojo, Guayabillo, cat's claw, cafetillo, pasiflora and some types of moss, ferns and fungi. The plant covers a total of 932 species, 7 and 925 non-wood timber.

The only endemic species located in the region, wildlife population includes 77 types of birds, 60 fish and 233 of the plant kingdom.

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