Galapogos islands

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  • The Galapagos Islands
    • location
      • extensive group of islands distributed either side of the Equator
      • 900km west of Equator
      • in the pacific ocean
      • formed 3 million years ago from a series of volcanoes rising from the ocean floor where two ridges form a hotspot
    • Biodiversity
      • densely populated, high biodiversity
      • 7000-9000 species
      • Endemic species
        • marine iguana
          • the giant tortoise
        • high risk because if they become extinct on the Galapagos then the whole species will be wiped out
          • May be important for medicine
      • influenced Darwins theory of evolution
        • Species adapt to their environment
          • individuals within a species who have reproductive barriers can eventually become separate species
        • survival of the fittest
          • adaptive characteristics
    • Threats to the island
      • population pressure
        • 2005-2007 population doubled to 40,000
        • by 2027 double again to 80000
        • High unemployment of 40% in Ecuador
          • high tourist industry in Galapagos so they move
      • urbanisation
        • deforestation
        • over hunting
        • over fishing
    • Players involved in managing the islands
      • PGN (translate to Galapagos national park)
        • trying to eradicate introduced species that threaten biodiversity
          • eg treat invasive plants with herbicides or dig them out by their roots
      • UNESCO
        • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
        • protects world heritage sites
          • 1986 a law was passed to control fishing and over-exploitation of Galapagos marine resources
        • 97% of the land and the entire ocean within 60km is a national reserve
      • The Charles Darwin foundation
        • run captive breeding programmes for giant tortoises and land iguanas
        • ensure that they don't become extinct
    • strategies for managing islands
      • overfishing
        • led to the decline of two aqua species
        • fishing bans allowed certain aqua species to recover
          • successful so ban was lifted
          • quotas were put in place to sustain this
      • Tourist numbers
        • tourists act less sustainably
        • tourist have to pay a tax of US$100 per head
        • tax ensures there isn't a surplus of tourists
        • tax will also fund green projects eg conserving biodiversity


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