Galapagos Islands Animals and Plants

The most important facts on all animals and plants

Galapagos Petrel

Galapagos Petrels are seabirds native to the Galapagos Islands. Despite making the Galapagos their home all year round they have been spotted as far away as northern South America and the Central American coastline in their hunt for... more about Galapagos Petrel

Galapagos Dove

The Galapagos Dove is known for its curiosity. Early sailors who landed on the Galapagos report the native doves landing on their hats, heads or shoulders. Sadly, this natural tame behaviour led to them becoming an easy source of food... more about Galapagos Dove

Galapagos Rail

The Galapagos Rail or (Galapagos Crake as it’s also known) is a small bird native to the islands that’s currently listed as vulnerable due to the damage caused by introduced non-native species.

This charming... more about Galapagos Rail

Galapagos Waved Albatross

The Waved Albatross boasts the largest wingspan of any bird in the Galapagos. The Galapagos Waved Albatross is so-called because of the distinctive wave-like pattern that forms on the adult birds’ wings. Not only is a unique species... more about Galapagos Waved Albatross

Galapagos Mockingbird

Although Darwin’s Finches are the more famous birds who influenced Charles Darwin's early thoughts about natural selection, it was actually his study of the Mockingbirds on the archipelago that had the greatest influence on his... more about Galapagos Mockingbird

Galapagos Green Turtle

The Galapagos Green Turtle is the only species to nest on the archipelago, and is rarely found anywhere else in the world. Here in the Galapagos they are abundant, and can often be seen on snorkeling and diving excursions anywhere near... more about Galapagos Green Turtle

Galapagos Fur Seal

The Galapagos Fur Seal is only found on the rocky western shores of the Galapagos islands, and nowhere else. Sadly, their population is reducing and they are now officially listed as “endangered”. As they are most active... more about Galapagos Fur Seal

Darwin's Finches

Known to school children all over the world studying evolution, the small changes amongst the species of Galapagos Finches famously helped Darwin to begin to formulate his theory of natural selection. Often referred to as Darwin’s Finches, there... more about Darwin's Finches

Galapagos Blue-Footed Booby

Galapatours clients tell us that the Galapagos Blue-Footed Booby is one of their favorite wildlife encounters from the islands. And once you watch the males’ remarkable mating dance we’re sure they will be your favorite,... more about Galapagos Blue-Footed Booby

Galapagos Land Iguana

The Galapagos Land Iguana is one of three native species in the archipelago. Recognisable by their large size and yellow skin they have quite a fearsome appearance, sporting large claws and powerful legs. However they are mainly herbivores,... more about Galapagos Land Iguana

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

The most iconic of the Galapagos wildlife, the Giant Tortoise is unmistakable and probably one of the best known of the archipelago's native species. Capturing a photograph of a Galapagos Tortoise in the wild is often the highlight... more about Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Galapagos Mangroves

The Galapagos Islands are home to a large number of wetland habitat that privide a home for many species. The majority of these wetlands marine lagoons and coastal mangroves.

Mangrove swamps are made up of a selection... more about Galapagos Mangroves

Galapagos Red Bat

The Galapagos Red Bat is a subspecies of the Southern Red Bat, which is found throughout North and South America. Elsewhere in the world, the red bats migrate for winter in a similar way to some birds, but the Galapagos Red Bat is thought... more about Galapagos Red Bat

Galapagos Shearwater

This small black-and-white bird lives and breeds on the Galapagos Islands, but it has also been seen as far away as Western Mexico and the Central American coastline. Until recently, the Galapagos Shearwater was thought to be a subspecies of another... more about Galapagos Shearwater

Galapagos Sea Lion

The Galapagos Sea Lion is a common sight all around the islands, and you’ll never be far from a group of them contentedly basking in the warm sun. They are officially a subspecies of the California Sea Lion, but some experts claim... more about Galapagos Sea Lion

Galapagos Rays

There are four species of rays that are commonly seen in the waters around the Galapagos islands. You can often see rays swimming in the clear water when you are kayaking, snorkeling or traveling by panga on an excursion. If you are... more about Galapagos Rays

Galapagos Greater Flamingo

The Greater Flamingo is the only flamingo species resident on the Galapagos. The current population is estimated to be between 400 and 500 individuals. These beautiful and elegant birds breed in small colonies at any time from June... more about Galapagos Greater Flamingo

Galapagos Giant Opuntia

Opuntia, often known as Prickly Pear, is a range of cactus species common in the Americas, but Galapagos is the only home to 6 unique species of this remarkable plant. Although found on arid areas all over the archipelago, over many thousands of years... more about Galapagos Giant Opuntia

Galapagos Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher is a winter visitor to the Galapagos, where it travels from North America! It’s not fully understood how the first Belted Kingfishers made their way all the way to Galapagos, but it’s most likely that... more about Galapagos Belted Kingfisher

Galapagos Frigatebirds

There are five species of frigatebird around the tropics, and two of them are found in the Galapagos - the Great Frigatebird and the Magnificent Frigatebird. However the differences between them are very subtle, and only the trained... more about Galapagos Frigatebirds

Galapagos Hoary Bat

This is the larger of the two resident Galapagos bat species, and it can be found throughout the Galapagos archipelago, with recorded populations on Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela, Santiago, and Floreana Islands.

Like... more about Galapagos Hoary Bat

Nazca Booby

Also known as the Masked Booby thanks to its distinctive head markings, the Nazca Booby is a well-established Galapagos resident, with the islands being home to approximately 15,000 to 20,000 breeding pairs. The Nazca is the largest... more about Nazca Booby

Galapagos Miconia

The Galapagos Miconia is a native bush that lends its name to a whole ecosystem that is only found on the high slopes of Santa Cruz Island and San Cristobal Island on the Galapagos.

Bearing the scientific name Miconia... more about Galapagos Miconia

Galapagos Red-Billed Tropicbird

The Red-Billed Tropicbird can be found in various locations throughout the Pacific and Atlantic tropics, but the Galapagos is home to one of the key population centres. These are true seabirds, who spend most of their time far from... more about Galapagos Red-Billed Tropicbird

Galapagos Red-Footed Booby

The Red-Footed Booby is certainly not easily mistaken for any of the other booby species, thanks to those big crimson webbed-feet! They are the most numerous of the Galapagos booby species, but they are actually one of the most rarely... more about Galapagos Red-Footed Booby

Galapagos Marine Iguana

The Galapagos Islands are home to the only seafaring lizard in the world - the Galapagos Marine Iguana. This iconic reptile is found nowhere else on Earth, and it is made of 11 subspecies, each with a population on a different island.
more about Galapagos Marine Iguana

Galapagos Lava Gull

The Galapagos Lava Gull is found nowhere else on Earth except these wonderful islands. There are estimated to be fewer than 300 breeding pairs left, making this the rarest gull in the world.

The Galapagos Lava gull is a striking and unmistakable... more about Galapagos Lava Gull

Galapagos Vermilion Flycatcher

A highlight for bird spotters from around the world, the Galapagos Vermilion Flycatcher is a stunning bird that is instantly recognisable. THere are actually two species resident in Galapagos, Darwin’s Vermilion Flycatcher, which... more about Galapagos Vermilion Flycatcher

Galapagos Hawk

The Galapagos Hawk is the archipelago's only hawk species and the largest bird of prey. The sight of its broad wings riding the updrafts is a common one from the sundeck of your Galapagos cruise. By the end of your trip, you’ll... more about Galapagos Hawk

Galapagos Penguin

One of the most famous inhabitants of the archipelago, the Galapagos Penguins are also record-holders. Not only are they one of the world’s smallest penguin species, they are also the most northerly penguin species. In fact the... more about Galapagos Penguin

Galapagos Flightless Cormorant

Another unique Galapagos resident, the Flightless Cormorant is the only species of cormorant in the archipelago. It’s the heaviest of the world’s cormorants, and the only one to have evolved to become flightless, thanks... more about Galapagos Flightless Cormorant

Galapagos Lava Lizard

The friendly Galapagos Lava Lizard is the most common reptile found throughout the Galapagos Islands. After just a few of your shore excursions on a Galapatours cruise you’ll be very familiar with these “miniature iguanas”... more about Galapagos Lava Lizard

Galapagos Hammerhead Shark

The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark is one of the most recognisable species in the ocean, and the Galapagos Marine Reserve is one of the best places in the world to see these remarkable creatures. Hammerhead sharks can be seen gathering... more about Galapagos Hammerhead Shark

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