Galapagos founded by Charles Darwin | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

Galapagos founded by Charles Darwin

How Charles Darwin Saved The Galapagos Islands

Galapagos NASA satellite imageNASA Satellite Photo of the Galapagos

Everything positive seems to take a long time . . .

The naturalist-guides on the Lindblad’s National Geographic Endeavour will go into Charles Darwin in far more detail than I can here, though none of them—in fact, no one anywhere that I can find—has appreciated the legacy of Charles Darwin in this manner. Yet it seems so strikingly obvious. Charles Darwin and his legacy of fame did save the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Tortoise-1 blogWith the 1859 publication of and its revolutionary concept of evolution through natural selection, Charles Darwin made the Galapagos archipelago world -famous. And in doing so, this fame eventually helped save the islands from further exploitation and devastation of the landscape by introduced animals, particularly goats. The first protective legislation for the Galapagos was enacted by the government of Ecuador in 1930 and supplemented in 1936.Charles_Darwin ill controversial book.

Without such world focus on them by Darwin, there’s a good chance none of us would be interested in visiting the Galapagos because none of its wildlife would remain. As it is, some endemic species have disappeared and the tortoise populations drastically reduced by wholesale plundering of the island by its earliest visitors.

Discovered in 1535 by the Spanish who had no interest in claiming them, the Galapagos first became a haven for pirates in the late 1500′s who preyed on the huge tortoises for their meat over the next 200 years. Realizing the tortoises would stay alive for a year or more without food or water, pirates also sailed away with thousands of the animals which were unable to right themselves once they had been turned on their backs.

Whalers made up the next wave of visitors, lured by the unimaginable number of sperm whales that were said to pass the islands in a line from dawn to dusk. By the time Darwin’s visited the Galapagos in 1835 as part of a 5-year around the world mapping expedition, the number of tortoises were already being depleted. He reports in his book Voyage of the Beaglehow for the 300 residents on the island of Floreana “the staple article of animal food is supplied by the tortoises. Their numbers have of course been greatly reduced in this island, but the people yet count on two days’ hunting giving them food for the rest of the week. It is said that formerly single vessels have taken away as many as seven hundred, and that the ship’s company of a frigate some years since brought down in one day two hundred tortoises to the beach.”

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FREE Darwin Lecture Tonight 10/24

by Franklin1776

6:30pm The Franklin Institute 20th and the Ben Franklin Parkway
Two, 150-pound Galapagos turtles are on display at The Franklin Institute’s Darwin exhibit. These turtles, along with hundreds of other Galapagos creatures are what sparked Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Nearly 200 years later, the islands still play a crucial part in our environment and evolution. Discover the reasons why the Galapagos Islands still matter and what relevance they have in the 21st century. This 3-part Darwin lecture series begins with a panel discussion featuring Galapagos Conservancy President, Johannah Barry; Dr

Darwin's Historically-significant chronometer

by mactoo

In an age where accurate time measurement is taken for granted, the upcoming auction of an 1825 marine chronometer highlights just how far science has advanced in the last 200 years. The marine chronometer was a critical technology enabling navigation at sea. This 190 year-old example, which is heading for the auction block on July 9, has certainly witnessed its fair share of history in fulfilling that critical scientific role, having accompanied Charles Darwin on his epic five-year second voyage (1831-1836) to South America and the Galapagos Islands, the North American Boundary Expedition (1843-1846) which established the border between the USA and Canada and the 1857 survey of the Australian coastline which saw the naming of Darwin and the Fitzroy River. Given its...

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