Photo of the week #29: The Galapagos islands’ unique position for monitoring climate change

Source: IUCN Photo Library
Photographer: B. Riche & G. Davila

These Sally Lightfoot Crabs live on Ecuador’s famous Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean as well as in many parts of the South American mainland. They are an ever-present species along the coast providing a stark contrast of colour against the black volcanic rocks. But the islands are undergoing great changes and their presence should not be taken for granted.

The island is famous for its uniquely rich biodiversity but climate change threatens fur seal, iguana and coral reef systems to name a few.

However, aside from being a valuable and diverse ecosystem, the Galapagos Islands also act as an important living laboratory for climate scientists. Their location at a junction of ocean circulation makes it a crucial observation point for understanding future, global-scale climatic changes.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation aimed at finding solutions to the most pressing environment and development challenges.

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