Galapagos Since Charles Darwin Published Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

The Galapagos rats were able to survive by floating on large pieces of vegetation or debris to reach the islands. In fact, the rats "hold the world record for ocean crossings by land mammals," (Galapagos Conservation Trust 2008).

About 1600 species of insects inhabit the Galapagos including large ones like locusts, butterflies and moths. The Galapagos also has unique species of land snails. Hundreds of fish species live in the warm waters surrounding the Galapagos. The plant diversity on the Galapagos has changed dramatically since the introduction of fruit-bearing trees especially in highland areas. However, indigenous species of orchid and cacti still grace the Galapagos landscape.

The Galapagos Islands have a varied terrain and ecosystem. Elevation levels and locations of the islands determine the local flora and fauna. Some parts of the Galapagos are dry and rocky, whereas others are more heavily forested. The Galapagos does not look like a typical lush tropical island and has a unique climactic system.

Human beings are the biggest threat to the Galapagos. Early settlers and pirates pillaged the islands. Colonialists altered the landscape and ecosystem by farming practices, and over-fishing is also a problem in the Galapagos. Land development and a local residential and tourist infrastructure development within the past century continue to adversely affect the Galapagos. Related problems like pollution threaten the Galapagos, and the effects of global warming on the ecosystem are unknown. The recent shift toward ecotourism offers some hope that human beings can leave as delicate a footprint as possible while still being able to enjoy the fantastic plant, animal and marine life that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

To preserve the remarkable species diversity and limit the ill effects of human contact, the Ecuadorian government must cooperate with international environmental agencies and universities when drafting tourism-related policies and regulating industries like agriculture and real estate. Ecuador, which protects the Galapagos politically, cannot fall pray to greed as a short-term gain. Any immediate financial gains from unbridled growth and tourism will mar the islands and its animals so rapidly as to eliminate any long-term benefits. The Galapagos Islands are especially sensitive because its local flora and fauna had evolved for millennia without getting used to predators. A sudden influx of human activity and foreign plant and animals has surprised the indigenous populations, which had not evolved the defense systems that their counterparts on the mainland might have.

Therefore, protecting the Galapagos requires regulations of the local residential and tourism industries. Those industries must be strictly monitored for their environmental impact including the production of waste and pollution. Also, a moratorium on introducing plants and animals should be strictly enforced. The government of Ecuador can easily regulate the numbers of tourists permitted to visit the Galapagos Islands by limiting grants. The cost of visiting should not be increased, or else the islands would remain only accessible to the wealthy. At the same time, those who visit the Galapagos should go with the utmost respect and reverence for the local ecosystem. A waiting list would weed out those tourists who might spontaneously choose to go just to brag. Similarly, Ecuador should prohibit any new residents except those with direct occupational links to the necessary backbone of ecotourism, basic local infrastructure, and scientific research.

The international community and the university systems can also put pressure on Ecuador to implement a strong strategy for the preservation of the Galapagos Islands. Working together, Ecuador and the international community can create conservation methods that satisfy all who have stake in the islands. Environmental policy writers and scientists can come to reasonable solutions to the problems currently faced by the Galapagos Islands and advise the Ecuadorian government.

The protection of the Galapagos Islands is a global concern. To lose some of the special species that dwell there means lost opportunities for understanding biological evolution and unlocking keys to saving the planet. Similarly, a destruction of the Galapagos ecosystem would be an irreversible travesty.

References

Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (2006). "Challenges to Galapagos." Retrieved Dec 20, 2008 at http://www.darwinfoundation.org/en/galapagos/challenges

Galapagos Conservation Trust (2008). Land animals of the Galapagos Islands. Retrieved Dec 20, 2008 at http://www.gct.org/landfact.html

Galapagos Island Species." (2008). Retrieved Dec 20, 2008 at http://www.galapagosdiscover.com/info/galapagosflorafauna.htm[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Galapagos Since Charles Darwin Published" (2008, December 20) Retrieved December 10, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/galapagos-since-charles-darwin-published-25669

"Galapagos Since Charles Darwin Published" 20 December 2008. Web.10 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/galapagos-since-charles-darwin-published-25669>

"Galapagos Since Charles Darwin Published", 20 December 2008, Accessed.10 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/galapagos-since-charles-darwin-published-25669

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Charles Darwin by Peter Bowler

    Bowler, Charles Darwin Peter Bowler's study Charles Darwin: The Man and His Influence intends to give an accurate portrait of the ideas of the nineteenth-century naturalist within their historical context, while also correcting certain misconceptions and myths. To a certain extent, Bowler is writing a recognizable type of work -- a history of science that emphasizes twentieth century notions about the history of science, namely that new ideas do not emerge

  • Imagining Extinction Black Rhinoceros and the Last of the Race

    A survey of scientific responses to extinction at the present moment is fairly unambiguous, however. Paleontologist James Kirchner calculated in 2002 that extinction rates could more or less be statistically inferred from the fossil record, and uses this to quantify what he terms "evolutionary speed limits," which is to say the rate at which the Darwinian process of natural selection (which depends upon the effective extinction of species insofar as

  • Evolution Creational Critics Often Charge That Evolution

    Evolution "Creational critics often charge that evolution cannot be tested, and therefore cannot be viewed as properly scientific subject at all. This claim is rhetorical nonsense" (Stephen Jay Gould). Human life is both sacred and mysterious. From time before recorded history, human beings, both scientific and religious have tried to determine what it is exactly that gives life and by extension, can take life away. In ancient times, most people believed that

  • Ecofeminism In Search of Universal

    143). Moreover, the global neglect of women (in terms of science) is reflected in the fact that women have been excluded as experimental subjects in drug research, Rosser continues. Certainly pregnant women have been excluded from experiments with pesticides and radioactive materials, but beyond that Rosser explains that "…these drugs and materials are then used without ever having been tested on women" (1991, p. 143). And yet notwithstanding their exclusion


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved