“Galápagos will always be a special place… it was Galápagos that inspired our Mission Blue Hope Spots initiative.”– Dr. Sylvia Earle
A Witness to Hope: Celebrating 25 Years of the GalápagosMarine Reserve
In her blog, “A Witness to Hope”, Courtney Mattison, Mission Blue Special Projects Coordinator, describes the history of marine protection in the Galápagos and the team’s findings on what it will take to ensure a healthy future for the islands.
The iguanas in the Galápagos Islands are the only vertebrates that can change their body length in response to environmental conditions. They can shrink 20% of their body length during El Niño when the waters are warmer and less nutrient-dense!
Cryptic species – those that are difficult to document – and species that are considered less interesting to tourists are often overlooked, and so too may be changes to their populations. Under the scientific permit of Hope Spot Champion Dr. Hearn, researchers from the Galápagos National Park, Galápagos Science Center, Galápagos Conservation Trust and Charles Darwin Foundation conducted surveys for a variety of elusive species, from the Galápagos bullhead shark (Heterodontus quoyi) to the endemic slipper lobster(Scyllarides astori) and Pacific seahorse(Hippocampus ingens).
Thank You to Rolex for Being One of Our Expedition Sponsors.
As part of its Perpetual Planet Initiative, ROLEX created three short films documenting the team’s findings and the beauty both above and beneath the waves of the Galápagos Islands. The link below will take you to Rolex.org where you can find each film at the bottom of the page.
Our deepest thanks to our sponsors ROLEX, National Geographic and Scubapro, and to our expedition partners Undersea Hunter, Galapagos National Park, Charles Darwin Foundation, Oceanic Society, Alex Hearn, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, MigraMar, Galapagos Sharksky Travel & Conservation, Galapagos Science Center, Galapagos Conservation Trust, University of British Columbia and to Ecuador’s Minister of Environment Gustavo Manrique Miranda Ministerio del Ambiente, Agua y Transición Ecológica de Ecuador. This expedition was supported with additional expert content creation from Proudfoot, Taylor Griffith and Tui de Roy.
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