Puerto Ayora Wildlife

Puerto Ayora
Darwin's Finch
Marine Iguana
Marine Iguana
Fighting Marine Iguanas
Pacific Green Turtle Track
Lonesome George
Santa Cruz Giant Tortoise
Vermillion Flycatcher
White-tip Reef Shark

(To enlarge a set of pictures just CLICK on any one of them)

A wide variety of Galapagos fauna can be found in and nearby the largest town of the archipelago, Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. The cheeky Darwin’s Finches (Geospiza spp) arrive at breakfast and beg for pieces of bread and cereal.

Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhyncus cristatus) are common along the beaches and rocky coastline just out of town, the large males of which fight vigorously for females during the breeding season.

The beginning of the warm/wet season (January) also signals the time for Pacific Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas agassisi) to crawl up onto the beaches and lay eggs under the cover of darkness, leaving evidence of their nocturnal perambulations in the sand.

Lonesome George, the last remaining individual of Giant Tortoise from the Pinta Island race (Geochelone elephantopus abingdoni) now resides at the Darwin Station where attempts have been made to breed him with the closely related Wolf Volcano subspecies (Geochelone elephantopus becki), which has so far proven unsuccessful.

The highlands of Santa Cruz are home to a reasonable population of around 2000 Giant Tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus porteri) and the rare Vermillion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubidus) which lives amongst the threatened endemic forests of Scalesia, a large daisy bush the size of a tree.

The White-tip Reef Sharks (Triaendon obesus) are the most common species of shark in the Galapagos and are frequently encountered during snorkeling expeditions and are not considered dangerous. These animals were photographed in a tidal pool in a small chain of rocky islands off the coast of southern Isabela.

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