Friends of Galapagos New Zealand -

May 2014 Newsletter

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Hola All Friends of Galapagos Supporters

We have gathered a few items of interest about Galapagos conservation issues that we think will appeal to you - some good news stories and some not so good. Let us know what you think we would love to hear from you.
Ship Grounded in Wreck Bay Galapagos
Ship aground in Wreck Bay, near the entrance to the harbour at Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal island. An environmental emergency has been declared by the Ecuadorian government  - read more on this concerning situation here.
Many of you will be familiar with the work of Peter & Rosemary Grant who have studied Darwin's finches for the last 40 years. They are finally hanging up their research hats and to celebrate this they have produced a new book ' 40 Years of Evolution' about their lifes' work.

Check this link for an absorbing article from the Princeton Alumni on the Grants'  and the book which includes their findings on natural selection, hybridization and population variation including the potential of a new species labelled the Big Bird lineage. 
And more on finches....
Fascinating story about Darwin's finches exhibiting some clever behaviour that has been used to combat a parasitic nest fly which threatens the breeding of many species of Galapagos finches. Find out more here.

The Blue-Footed Booby is under threat 

This wonderful bird has seen an alarming drop in their numbers over recent years. Find out as to possible causes in this link to a National Geographic article. 

Sea Levels & Galapagos Evolution

This article titled 'Exploring the combined role of eustasy and oceanic island thermal subsidence in shaping biodiversity on the Galapagos' is an in depth and interesting read on how changes in sea levels have affected evolution in Galapagos.
An amusing tale from Tui
An amusing little tale from our Patron, Tui De Roy. Last year she was in Galapagos leading a photo cruise and two of her group took winning photos in a competition run by one of our sister organisations, Galapagos Conservation Trust. The overall winner of the competition remarked that “I was very lucky to be right there at that moment, and not photographing the lava lizards nearby, as some of my friends were!" 
For Tui, a case of looking in the wrong direction at the wrong time. As one of the judges for competition she would not have been eligible to enter but to a photographer of Tui’s renown the pain was just in missing out in taking a spectacular photo. The winning photo can be seen in this link

The above photo of Tui, taken by Alan McLean, represented a happier photographic moment for her. 

White-vented Storm Petrel Project
A quick note on the White-vented Storm Petrel Project which continues to gather steam and will soon be underway. We will be sending out an update with the latest news in the very near future.
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