Truly Unique Species
Galapagos is home to the only penguin in the northern hemisphere, the only ocean-going lizard and plants that reproduce without pollination.
Internationally-recoginzed In 1959 the Galapagos became Ecuador’s first national park, and in 1978 the area was declared a World Heritage Site. In 1984, the archipelago was added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program.
The Galapagos Islands are home to nearly 9,000 species, most found nowhere else in the world, including the only penguin in the northern hemisphere, the only ocean-going lizard and plants that reproduce without pollination.
Although many of the thousands of animals found here resemble their mainland ancestors, they have evolved so extensively in isolation that they are now classed as distinct species. Over three-fourths of the reptiles and land birds are endemic (meaning they exist nowhere else) and often exclusive to certain islands.