In 1979, the Galápagos Islands was one of the earliest World Heritage Sites to be selected by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), a designation intended to protect and preserve sites of cultural and natural heritage around the world. Today, there are over a thousand World Heritage Sites and the Galápagos Islands are one of the most widely valued.
The biology of the Galápagos Islands has arguably been studied more than any other archipelago in the world. Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands for five weeks in 1835 and then spent the next several decades at his home in England conducting experiments on a multitude of non-Galápagos species to confirm his theory of natural selection. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, one of the most important ideas in all of science.
The islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 605 miles (973 km) off the west coast of South America and consist of 13 main islands and 6 smaller islands. Only some are open to visitors.
In this richly illustrated tour of the Galápagos, world renowned photographer and naturalist Wayne Lynch captures the unique wildlife living here, including the Galápagos tortoise, the marine iguana, the flightless cormorant, the blue-footed boobie and the magnificent frigatebird.
In 1979, at the age of 31, Dr. Wayne Lynch left a career in emergency medicine to work full-time as a science writer and photographer. Today, he is one of the best-known and most widely published professional wildlife photographers.
"In this richly illustrated guide, Lynch (Planet Arctic) shows readers why the Galapagos Islands, where naturalist Charles Darwin studied habitat-specific adaptations of wildlife, still fascinate scientists and tourists alike. Lynch is a seasoned nature photographer, and his large, full-color images offer readers stunning glimpses of the islands' life and landscapes. The book begins by discussing how eruptions from underwater volcanoes formed this chain of Pacific islands as recently as 80-90 million years ago. Most of the book showcases and provides concise information about specific species of flora and fauna, particularly those that have developed unique biological traits, such as the heavy or pointed beaks of the finches that so amazed Darwin, and other species, such as the Galapagos penguin, that are found nowhere else on Earth. Lynch includes a chapter on human visits to the islands, which were limited for centuries to pirates and castaways. Today, the Galapagos attract more than 220,000 tourists yearly and boast a permanent population of more than 35,000. The final chapter details how habitat loss, pollution, and invasive species point to a challenging future for this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lynch's beautiful and informative guide is a must for fans of nature photography and perfect for tourists planning to travel to the islands."
– Publishers Weekly on 15/01/2018