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rare land/marine iguana?

California
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rare land/marine iguana?

i had an earlier post response, i think from hb, about the rare land/marine iguana on one of the islands. what are our odds of actually seeing one? are there any other "rare" animals that are on the galapagos islands that we should attempt to travel to? anything that is found ONLY on galapagos? would love to be able to see those "only found here" animals....any ideas/advice? thanks!

Oceanside...
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1. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

I'm primarily a bird person, but I can share what I've learned about land & marine iguanas. Santa Fé has a unique species of land iguana (more yellow than other species), found only on that island. We saw only one when we were there; our naturalist guide was surprised that we hadn't seen at least a few more. In 2009 (I think), scientists declared a pink land iguana found only on Isabela to be a unique species as well. However, it's extremely rare and found only around Volcán Wolf in northern Isabela; tourists are not likely to see it.

Although not a unique species, the marine iguanas on Española are the most brightly colored (red mixed with the black), especially during breeding season (which is probably coming to a close about now). But even in Sept., when we were there--definitely NOT breeding season--we could see the difference in the colors.

Tina

trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

Oceanside...
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2. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

I should also note that the Galápagos Islands have a good number of endemic avian species, although you seem most interested in non-bird species. Let me put a pitch in for the magnificent Waved Albatrosses on Española. Even non-birders find these birds gorgeous and fascinating. They can be found only only on Española (with one minor exception) and only during their breeding season (typically, mid- to late March through December). Other times, they are soaring off the coast of Peru.

Isabela & Fernandina are the only homes for the rather funky Flightless Cormorant. And the little Galápagos Penguin--the only species of penguin to breed completely within the tropics and the only one found in the northern hemisphere--is adorable. We saw them--and snorkeled with them!--off Bartolomé, although they are also found around other islands (e.g., Fernandina, Isabela).

I could go on and on, but I'll stop there.

Tina

trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

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3. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

I borrowed some great books from the our local library that have pictures and descriptions of the animals found on the Galapagos. I think you may enjoy perusing such books before your trip. Check your local library. One of the books I borrowed was a "coffee table" book (a very large book with magnificent pictures.)

Bristol, United...
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4. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

Some of the finches are unique to specific islands in the Galapagos and it can be challenging to find them all. The medium tree finch is found only in the highlands of Floreana - a place you will only see on a land based trip.

The red footed boobies are not unique to Galapagos but you are unlikely to see them close up elsewhere. They are found only on Genovesa (Tower) island which is well worth a visit - cruise only.

In total I think its 28 endemic bird species, 11 giant tortoises and about 40 fish plus the sealion and fur seal. There are a couple of bats and rice rats too.

Dave Peters

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

ztsipapu,

Well done for giving plug for avifauna which is really what the Galapagos are about.

Would it be picky to point out that most of the Archipelago, apart from a few islets and rocks, lie in the southern Hemisphere? You can test it by watching how the bath drains.

Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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6. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

Urban legend, Mfuwe. The Coriolos Effect has no affect on our drains

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

You mean to tell me all those guys on the roadside in Kenya and Uganda with their little washbowls are conning folks? Shock Horror!

Guayaquil, Ecuador
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8. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

You might be referring to what they call the pink iguana, only discovered last year. If so, the answer is no. Their habitat is near Volcano Wolf on Isabela which has no tourist sites, only scientists and National Park are permitted there.

livescience.com/animals/090105-pink-iguana.h…

Vancouver area
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9. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

It is not an urban legend. We saw for ourselves the difference when we visited the Equator itself and my husband can confirm for you what we saw. In fact, friends took video of it to show others that it is not an Urban Legend.

Sorry, but those are the facts

Isle of Man, United...
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10. Re: rare land/marine iguana?

Of course you did.