galapagos, day 4

by sam on 08/27/2013

Tuesday brought us to one of the few islands in the Galapagos that is inhabited by humans, Santa Cruz. 97% of the Galapagos is a national park, and the remaining 3%, including Santa Cruz and San Cristobal (where our airplane landed) is home to approximately 30,000 Galapagenos. Our day took us to the Charles Darwin research station, a local private school that Lindblad helps fund, and a protected giant land turtle migration route in the highlands. No pictures of the school, as I feel a bit odd posting pictures of other people’s children on here, but the Darwin research station is the local home to approximately 80 scientists who study the flora and fauna of the islands. It also functions as a giant rescue site, helping to recover local animal populations that would otherwise have gone extinct. It was also, until he died last year, the home of the most famous giant turtle, Lonesome George. The current most famous resident is Diego, who was repatriated from the San Diego zoo, after it was discovered that he was only one of a handful of living male turtles of his particular sub-species. The center also cultivates local native plant species to distribute to local residents to assist in replacing invasive species that had previously been brought to the island.

The afternoon took us to the highlands which are much wetter and greener, and the place to see giant turtles in their native habitat.

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