The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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.
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
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.
Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.
Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.