Quantcast

Protecting the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are truly unique. They have more endemic species—species that can only be found there—than any other cluster of islands in the world.

The Galapagos Islands have more endemic species than any other island cluster in the world.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Since 2000, Sea Shepherd, a nonprofit dedicated to marine wildlife conservation, has been working with the Ecuadorian National Park Service in the Galapagos Islands to protect its delicate ecosystem. "Duties have included training and funding the wildlife unit K-9 program to detect contraband wildlife, patrolling the marine reserve to deter and apprehend poachers, educating schoolchildren on the need for conservation, and installing and maintaining an automatic identification system."

Jack Grove, a marine biologist and professional naturalist who lived and worked on the island for seven years, is speaking up about Sea Shepherd’s crucial role in safeguarding the islands. Grove, a supporter of Sea Shepherd, says with Sea Shepherd's help, the Ecuadorian government is strengthening enforcement of its regulations to ensure violators are properly prosecuted.

Grove had a transformative experience when he visited the islands for the first time as a deckhand on a sailboat in 1975. "I was astounded by the abundance of life, the fearlessness of the animals. Like so many other naturalists before me, it changed my life," he said.

"When Charles Darwin referred to Galapagos as a living laboratory of evolution, he recognized that these islands are special and they deserve special attention," Grove said. Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd's founder, who recently spoke out about SeaWorld's cruel treatment of its animals, has worked to  protect the world's oceans and marine life for more than three decades. "The Galapagos is our line in the sand. If we can't save something as beautiful, as profoundly unique, as pristine as the Galapagos, we can't save anything," he said.

Grove's message is one of urgency: "Our planet, our biosphere is at a tipping point. We are losing species daily ... We need more sanctuaries and protected areas and we need organizations like Sea Shepherd to determine and observe what is happening in these vast areas of open ocean," Grove explained.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

Is the Climate Movement at a Tipping Point?

Tonight: Al Jazeera Exposes Deadly Working Conditions for Bakken Oil Workers

The Research Is In: Regulations Alone Won’t Save Us From Climate Disaster

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Luis Alfonso de Alba Gongora, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for the climate summit speaks at The World Economic Forum holds the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2018 in New York on Sept. 24, 2018. Ben Hider / World Economic Forum

By Howard LaFranchi

When United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decided to hold a high-level climate summit in conjunction with this year's General Assembly kicking off next week, he was well aware of the paradox of his initiative.

Read More Show Less
Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan meets with Guatemalan farmers on May 29 in Santa Rosa, Guatemala. John Moore / Getty Images

The Trump administration ignored its own evidence on how climate change is impacting migration and food security when setting new policies for cutting aid to Central America, NBC reports.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mike Pence brought the first motorcade to Mackinac Island on Saturday. Cars have been banned on the island since 1898. 13 ON YOUR SIDE / YouTube screenshot

Vice President Mike Pence sparked outrage on social media Saturday when he traveled in the first-ever motorcade to drive down the streets of Michigan's car-free Mackinac Island, HuffPost reported.

Read More Show Less
Inhaling from an electronic cigarette. 6okean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Shawn Radcliffe

  • As illnesses and deaths linked to vaping continue to rise, health officials urge people to stop using e-cigarettes.
  • Officials report 8 deaths have been linked to lung illnesses related to vaping.
  • Vitamin E acetate is one compound officials are investigating as a potential cause for the outbreak.
The number of vaping-related illnesses has grown to 530 cases in 38 states and 1 U.S. territory, federal health officials reported.
Read More Show Less
Activist Greta Thunberg leads the Youth Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019 in New York City. Roy Rochlin / WireImage / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world — making it the biggest climate protest ever — they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Summer has officially come to an end. Luckily, EcoWatch is here to keep its memory alive by sharing the winners of our "Best of Summer" photo contest.

Read More Show Less
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at a news conference at UN headquarters on Sept. 18. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Today is the United Nations Climate Action Summit, a gathering called by UN Secretary General António Guterres to encourage climate action ahead of 2020, the year when countries are due to up their pledges under the Paris agreement.

Read More Show Less
A vegan diet can improve your health, but experts say it's important to keep track of nutrients and protein. Getty Images

By Dan Gray

  • Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
  • A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
  • It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.

New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.

Read More Show Less