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You are here: Home > Island Paradise > Galapagos Animals & Wildlife

Galapagos Animals & Wildlife


Mammals:
32 species recorded
Reptiles:
28 species recorded
Darwin Finches:
13 sub-species recorded
Sea Birds:
42 species recorded
Shore birds:

34 species recorded
Water birds:

21 species recorded
Land Birds:

49 species recorded

 

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The Galapagos Islands have a low biodiversity (that is, few species), because the islands are 600 miles from the nearest land and this huge expanse of inhospitable ocean in-between makes it very difficult for new kinds of plants and animals to reach the islands. Marine organisms, such as green sea turtles and corals, probably came on their own, swimming, or as floating larvae. Sea birds are all strong flyers that frequently make long journeys across the open sea. But most of the Galapagos life forms reached the islands by accident, and all had a long sea voyage. During that trip, both plants and animals were exposed to saltwater, drying winds, and intense sunlight. They had no fresh water or food. Galapagos reptiles are also more likely than land birds or mammals to be able to survive under these conditions. As a result, animals of the Galapagos Islands are species whose ancestors were already well suited for its harsh environments. Compared to elsewhere in the tropics there are few birds or Galapagos mammals, and many important groups are missing.

MAMMALS

In total, 32 indigenous species of mammals have been recorded in Galapagos in recent times. This excludes domesticated species which have become feral (dogs, cats, pigs, goats, donkeys, horses and cattle) and introduced rodents (rats and mice).

View Main Galapagos Mammals Page




REPTILES

DARWIN FINCHES

Darwin Finches, or Galapagos Finches, are small land birds with generally dull black, brown or olive, often streaky, plumage; short tails; and short, rounded wings. Their bills vary greatly in size and shape (a fact which was instrumental in inspiring Charles Darwin's thinking in relation to the theory of evolution - and hence the name given to this fascinating group of species).

View Main Darwin Finches Page



SEA BIRDS

In total, 47 species of sea birds have been recorded in the Galapagos, 19 of which are resident to the Islands. The sea birds therefore account for nearly one third of all the species ever recorded in the islands and about the same proportion of the resident species.

View Main Sea Birds Page



Galapagos Penguin

Penguins:

Galapagos Penguin

Flightless Cormorant

Cormorants:

Flightless Cormorant

Brown Pelican

Pelicans:

Brown Pelican

Waved Albatross

Albatrosses:

Waved Albatross

Audubon's Shearwater

Shearwaters & Petrels:

Audubon's Shearwater
Dark-rumped Petrel

Red-billed Tropicbird

Tropicbirds:

Red-billed Tropicbird

SHORE BIRDS & WATER BIRDS

In total, 21 species of water birds have been recorded in Galapagos, 10 of which are endemic to the Islands. Thirty Four species of shore birds have been recorded in Galapagos, only 2 of which are endemic.

View Main Galapagos Shore Birds & Waterbirds Page



Greater Flamingo

Flamingos:

Greater Flamingo

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Herons & Egrets:

Lava Heron
Great Blue Heron
Striated Heron
Yellow-crowned Heron
Great Egret
Aucattle Egret

American Oystercatcher

Oystercatchers:

American Oystercatcher

LAND BIRDS

In total, 49 species of land birds have been recorded in the Galapagos, 22 of which are endemic to the Islands. Land birds can be divided into 5 categories: Dirunal Raptors, Night Birds, Larger Land Birds, Aerial Feeders and Smaller Land Birds.

View Main Land Birds Page



Galapagos Martin

Aerial Feeders:

Galapagos Martin



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