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The Galapagos Islands are magical, a mecca for understanding life on our planet and a wildlife-lover's gem. But in a shrinking world, the Galapagos need care and conservation. The resources linked below cut to the heart of conservation issues facing the Galapagos today. Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris are very happy to use our tours to support these organizations, and will offer matching donations to Galapagos-related conservation organization of up to $25 per tour participant or couple (making a total donation of $50 per traveler). Please use the links below to learn more about the conservation efforst in the Galapagos and what you can do to help.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - Galapagos Patrol

Sea Shepard Mission: To end illegal fishing activities in the Galapagos Islands.
Until a decade ago, the Galapagos marine environment was relatively safe in its isolation. But gold rush style exploitation is ravaging the sea, killing sharks only for their fins, harvesting sea cucumbers at explosive rates, and violating the Galapagos Marine Reserve fishery laws. Great legal progress has been made protecting the park, but the resources and political will for enforcement has been lacking. In a great leap forward for enforcement, the Sea Shepherd Conservancy has been granted legal authority for their boat, the Sirenian, to patrol the 40-mile wide coastal "no fishing" zone that is routinely violated. This has effectively doubled the enforcement of Galapagos Marine Reserve fishery laws, a bold move in what has become a high stakes chess game over Galapagos conservation or exploitation. The story is dramatic and ongoing, makes for good reading. There are cat and mouse chases of pirate fishermen and belligerent fishermen taking park officials and tortoises hostage with demands for fishing without limits. Their efforts are strongly supported by the National Park and by the Ecuadorian people, but in a case of blatant corruption, the Ecuadorian military has actively hampered their efforts to bring pirate fishermen to justice.

Eligible for a Cheesemans' Ecology matching donation for tour participants.

Charles Darwin Foundation and the Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Foundation The Charles Darwin Foundation is the central pillar of Galapagos conservation and research, and we strongly urge all our Galapagos tour participants to join. Their website is an excellent resource for ongoing research and current conservation issues in the Galapagos.

Eligible for a Cheesemans' Ecology matching donation for tour participants.

International Galápagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA)

IGTOA International Galápagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) manages tourism in the Galapagos, a very important job as the islands have grown popular enough to be threatened by being 'loved to death'. Their website has a good description of the major islands we will visit. Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris is a full member of IGTOA.

El Niño and Climate Change

The Galapagos sits exactly in the heart of the strongest effects of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomenon. The National Oceanic &: Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website has a huge depth of El Niño resources, starting with a simple explanation: What is El Niño? Their archive of experimental daily sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly charts allows a beautiful comparison of today to strong El Niño years and strong La Niña years.
During El Niño years, the ocean around the Galapagos is dramatically warmer (up to 5°C, or 10°F), stopping the fertile cold upwellings that bring an abundance of food to the albatross, boobies, penguins, cormorants and marine iguanas. During strong El Niño events (like 1982-83 and 1997-98), not only do breeding efforts totally fail in these species, but massive die-offs occur. The 1982-83 El Niño event killed 80% of Galapagos Penguins, and 50% of Galapagos Flightless Cormorants! Climate observations and models show an increase in El Niño frequency and severity due to Climate Change and global warming, with major consequences for the Galapagos. The Union of Concerned Scientists have compiled excellent resources for understanding Climate Change. Do good to stop Global Warming and promote clean energy.