Report on impact of Tsunami on Galapagos Wildlife

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eighteen hours after the March 11 tsunami wreaked devastation in Japan, it hit the Galápagos Islands.  Luckily, by then the energy of the waves had dissipated somewhat, and the people there had received advanced warning and took to higher ground. The waves hit later in the afternoon, local time, and caused significant damage only to some buildings located near the water’s edge. The Charles Darwin Research Station’s (CDRS) marine biology lab and its equipment were largely destroyed. The lab is critical in carrying out the marine monitoring work that feeds into the Galápagos National Park’s management work.

Soon after the disaster, the CDRS applied to the Rapid Response Facility to help it re-establish its marine monitoring capability, and also to carry out a rapid assessment of the impacts of the tsunami on Galápagos wildlife, which contribute a great deal to this site’s Outstanding Universal Value as recognized under the World Heritage Convention.

Their preliminary report has just been received.  It indicates that impacts varied significantly between areas.  It notes that the height and penetration of the wave at the coast was very specific to different localities within and between islands, with varying impacts upon the flora and fauna.  Several beach areas were extensively reconfigured, while others showed large scale sediment shifts offshore, probably limited by upper littoral vegetation roots (including those of mangroves) stabilizing the sediment.

Important flightless cormorant nesting sites on Fernandina island, the most undisturbed large island in Galápagos, showed evidence of the destruction of existing nests, but the scientists also noted that adults had largely survived and had recommenced nesting and egg laying. Occasional mortalities were evident (sea turtles and marine iguanas) at the upper limits of the wave. Other sites, such a small but critically important mangrove area (home to the very rare nesting mangrove finches) were apparently not negatively affected.  Marine turtle and iguana nesting was affected depending upon wave height, beach profile and nesting behavior.

The CDRS reports that it was currently following up lines of investigation to examine the dynamic of the wave as it propagated throughout the archipelago with their associates in the Ecuadorian Navy compiling information for Park and Disaster mitigation planning agencies.


In the Galapagos Islands with Herman Melville

March 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

A New Galapagos Book just released…

Herman Melville Tours the Galapagos Islands

Who knew that Herman Melville, world-famous author of Moby-Dick, spent time in the Galapagos Islands?

And what’s more, that he later wrote a fascinating series of magazine articles about these Enchanted Isles, as they were called by early explorers and Buccaneers (a fancy name for pirates)!

Melville first glimpsed the Galapagos Islands in 1841 as a young seaman on the whaler Acushnet out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Years later, after the initial failure of his novel Moby-Dick, he tried to regain his lost popularity with the reading public by writing a series ten of magazine sketches he called “The Encantadas or Enchanted Isles,” recalling the strange worlds he found in the Galapagos archipelago.

Now, award-winning author Lynn Michelsohn has put this series of ten sketches together with striking photographs of Galapagos wildlife and landscapes, and modern introductions to the sketches, in a new book called In the Galapagos Islands with Herman Melville

In the Galapagos Islands with Herman Melville includes . . .

~ Herman Melville’s ten sketches that he called “The Encantadas or Enchanted Isles.”

~ Forty of Moses Michelsohn’s striking photographs (in color in the ebook) from the Galapagos Islands: birds, iguanas, giant tortoises, sea lions, exotic plants, and volcanic landscapes.

~ Lynn Michelsohn’s introduction to the work, and to each individual sketch.

Are you planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands? Bring In the Galapagos Islands with Herman Melville with you, or read it before you leave home. Enrich your experience with glimpses of the archipelago’s captivating natural and human history written over 150 years ago by that famous fellow traveler.

The Galapagos Goes Wireless

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

You can now send mail in Floreana via the Post Barrell or Via the New Wi-Fi Service

It’s now possible to send mail in Floreana both via the post barrel and via the new Wi-Fi Service.

From RTU News

As a milestone for the Galapagos Islands has been considered the fact that the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society, Mintel, put in execution his plan of wireless connectivity or Wi-Fi in the middle pier of San Cristobal, Santa CruzIsabela and Floreana, which has been well received not only by the residents but thousands of tourists who have expressed their satisfaction, because, now, with a laptop computer can send or receive emails, find information, chat, in short everything that means surfing the Internet superhighway.

From this Thursday (January 13, 2011) may be seen to have shrunk and inaugurated a bridge that unites our world heritage, ie, the Galapagos, with all the mainland, since not only is providing wireless Internet but are also thousands of students have this easily available technology. In addition it has finalized a comprehensive plan that goes from the delivery of computers, projectors, printers, etc.

The Minister of Telecommunication and Information Society, Jaime Guerrero Ruiz, said that “while this is an important step towards the  intellectual development of students and citizens in general, is also remuneration from the Government of the Citizen Revolution who despite being generators of national wealth and living in one of the tourist jewels of Ecuador had never before been seen in their needs, not only basic but also in technology. We want to make clear that the Good Life is not for a particular site of the country, but for everyone, especially the most vulnerable and forgotten, “he said.


In the Galapagos Islands, has lived almost a party atmosphere and expectation, as it is the first time that all the piers of the islands have free Internet access, which is considered the beginning of a new era in insular life, as in the walls, on benches, sidewalks, etc.. you can watch tourists and locals surfing the information superhighway. No longer be connected in a closed but may maintain such direct contact with nature, look at all the beauty offered by the ocean, watching the flight of the frigates, finches, pelicans or sand bath seals are given …

On Thursday, Mr. Javier Muñoz, Assistant Secretary for Information Technology and Communication, on behalf of Mintel, participated in several events organized in conjunction with the main authorities of the Galapagos, to facilitate access to ICTs, by implementing a telecommunications network.

The main event was held in Santa Cruz, in fiscal School Joint “Galo Plaza Lasso”, later made a visit to the National School “Miguel Angel Casares’ and National College” Galapagos “and finally at 16:30 the system was inaugurated WI -FI wireless on the Malecon in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal. On Friday, first thing you will visit the School Fiscomisional “Pedro Pablo Andrade”, which also delivered equipment and connectivity.

Mansion del Rio Guayaquil

January 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mansion del Rio Guayaquil

When planning your trip to the Galapagos Islands travel requires that you typically need to spend at least one night before your Galapagos Cruise and one night after on the mainland of Ecuador in either Quito or Guayaquil.

Quito is located at 9,600 feet elevation in the Andes Region of Ecuador.  It is a beautiful city and a UNESCO world heritage site.  For those wanting to explore Ecuador and get a taste of the country – Quito is an excellent base for your exploration.  Quito, Cuenca, Otavalo and many destinations in the Andes Region have wonderful hotels with character, charm and the history of Ecuador.

Guayaquil by comparison is located in the coastal region.  It is a bustling port town full of commerce.  The coast of Ecuador was a favorite destination for pirates during the 18th century and as a result many of the original buildings were burned down or destroyed.  Hotels in Guayaquil until recently have been international  chain hotels that you can find in any city or hotels for local tourists lacking the services required to attract international guests.  This has changed with the introduction of the Mansion del Rio Guayaquil.

Mansion del Rio Guayaquil Salon

The Mansion del Rio is a boutique hotel located in Las Peñas section of Guayaquil.  Originally build and called Villa San Antonio, the hotel is located in in the northeast corner of the city centre; is the artistic centre of the city. Many of the area’s 400-year-old houses have been converted into art galleries and several notable artists have studios in the area.  It is within walking distance of the Malecon 2000, Cathedral, and Iguana Park – the most visited sites in Guayaquil.

Completely renovated the Mansion del Rio Guayaquil gives guests the sense of travelling in time to the early 20th century (1900) Guayaquil and offers a unique atmosphere of comfort and exquisite details not found anywhere else.   The Mansion del Rio Guayaquil boasts guaranteed exceptional and customized service and accommodation that is full of grand old style luxury.  All rooms include fresh roses, a breakfast buffet, morning paper and afternoon tea.

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