Galapagos: Preserving Darwin's Legacy

Overview

A spectacular celebration of one the world's most important domains.

Travel agents everywhere are preparing for "the Darwin Effect," a boom in travel to Ecuador in 2009 for the 50th anniversary of the creation of Galapagos National Park and the International Charles Darwin Foundation. This lavishly illustrated book is the official publication for these historic events.

This year also marks two other important ...

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Overview

A spectacular celebration of one the world's most important domains.

Travel agents everywhere are preparing for "the Darwin Effect," a boom in travel to Ecuador in 2009 for the 50th anniversary of the creation of Galapagos National Park and the International Charles Darwin Foundation. This lavishly illustrated book is the official publication for these historic events.

This year also marks two other important milestones: the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and the 200th anniversary of his birth.

In 2007, growing pressure on the natural habitat prompted UNESCO to put Galapagos on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Galapagos includes insightful essays and fascinating stories by 30 of the world's leading Galapagos researchers, who describe the challenges and successes of conservation efforts, past and present. Tui de Roy's images vividly show the seemingly alien beauty of the Galapagos landscape and wildlife.

This handsome book is an important resource for naturalists, botanists, photographers, researchers, students and all who want a permanent record of Darwin's spectacular discovery.

The 28 chapters include:

  • Islands on the Move: Significance of Hotspot Volcanoes
  • Paleoclimate and the Future: A Knife-edge Balance
  • Biodiversity Analysis: How Close to the Brink?
  • Sunflower Trees and Giant Cacti: Vegetation Changes Over Time
  • Inshore Fishes: The Case of the Missing Damsel
  • Shark Migrations: Discovering the Golden Triangle
  • Marine Iguanas: Their Boom and Bust Adaptations
  • Darwin's Finches: Investigating
    Evolution in Action
  • The Waved Albatross: The Family Affairs of a Critically Endangered Species
  • Penguins on the Equator: Hanging on by a Thread
  • Sea Lions and Fur Seals: Cold Water Species on the Equator
  • Reign on the Giant Tortoises: Repopulating Ancestral Islands
  • Saving "Lost" Plants: Finding and Nurturing the Survivors
  • Reflections on Dangers and Solutions: "Noe Reall Islands," But Paradise
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Editorial Reviews

Mississippi Press
From the first page, I knew that this was going to be a fascinating visual and intellectual experience.
— Dale Foster
Vitality Today
Tui De Roy has assembled a magnificent [book that] reaffirms the importance of preserving this unique habitat.
— Michelle Signalman
SciTech Books News
This anthology aimed at general readers brings together 28 natural science essays written by scientists, researchers, and conservation experts from Ecuador, the U.S., Europe, and Panama, who discuss their achievements and discoveries about the Galapagos Islands... Essays are punctuated by many color photos by Roy, a wildlife photographer, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who has spent most of her life in the Galapagos Islands.
American Scientist
The spectacular photographs... capture the islands at their best. This large-format book is utterly beautiful and also quite substantive.
— Rick MacPherson
Choice
De Roy's striking photographs might tempt librarians to regard this work as merely a coffee-table book, but it is far more.
— R. Gilmour, Ithaca College
Outdoor Photographer
The book offers a comprehensive look at the challenges and successes of conservation efforts in the Galapagos. With candid first-person essays and 600 photos, this is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the islands.
Scientific American
Tui De Roy documents life on the islands that helped inspire Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.
— Kate Wong
Victoria Times Colonist
If you like your travel combined with science and nature, then Firefly's Galapagos: Preserving Darwin's Legacy is an excellent choice.
— Candace Fertile
The Globe and Mail Gift Books
Whether you're a Darwin fan, a traveller, a photographer or a naturalist, this book will appeal with its stunning photos and accessible commentary by leading Galapagos researchers. The colour photos range from panoramas of lava flows to life-size pictures of tiny shells, and a great variety of plants and animals native to this unique area. On the 200th birthday of Darwin's birth, this book focuses on conservation efforts, as the natural habitat is sadly in danger from human activity.
Journal of Field Ornithology, British Ornithologi - Christopher Perrins
[review of U.K. edition] This book has much to offer. Tui de Roy has lived in the Galapagos and knows them well. She is also a highly competent photographer. The book's largish format allows for many high-quality photographs, most taken by De Roy, and looking through them is a pleasure in itself. De Roy has gathered together some 35 people, most associated with the Charles Darwin Research Station, who are experts on various aspects of the Galapagos flora and fauna and have written 28 accounts of research and conservation in the archipelago. These average seven pages and present authoritative and up-to-date descriptions of the many activities being conducted ....There are good introductory chapters and an index. A more extensive bibliography would have been useful, but that apart, the book is a welcome addition to the shelves.
Scientific American - Kate Wong
Tui De Roy documents life on the islands that helped inspire Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.
Victoria Times Colonist - Candace Fertile
If you like your travel combined with science and nature, then Firefly's Galapagos: Preserving Darwin's Legacy is an excellent choice. Tui De Roy has spent most of his life on the Galapagos and is a world-renowned photographer. The more than 600 pictures are all engaging, although the ones of the giant tortoises, land iguanas and sea lions are particularly exciting. The book includes interesting essays on various aspects of the islands and their ecosystems. The writers are scientists who have made their research accessible to anyone who wants to learn about this strange and amazing place.
Choice - R. Gilmour
De Roy's striking photographs might tempt librarians to regard this work as merely a coffee-table book, but it is far more. Researchers who conducted fieldwork in the islands wrote the chapters. The essays are concise and convivial, the writers tell the stories of the islands and their remarkable diversity of the men and women who continue to document and preserve that diversity. Fine examples of science [written] for nonscientists.
Mississippi Press - Dale Foster
From the first page, I knew that this was going to be a fascinating visual and intellectual experience. Tui De Roy has compiled one of the most interesting and thorough accounts of the Galapagos Islands. The book brings together world-renowned scientific experts to discuss a vast spectrum of subjects relating to the "Enchanted Isles."... De Roy and [her] colleagues accessed some of the most distant and sensitive areas of the Galapagos archipelago, made up of over 100 islands and islets. With an artist's eye, they lavishly documented the land, sea and air with a view that contrasts the islands' beauty against the backdrop of an incredible harsh environment. The photos tastefully accent the research narratives and bring the words to life in vivid color.... This book fits comfortably as both a work of science and a compilation of artistic conservation photography. As such, it is a must read for anyone contemplating visiting the islands.
Vitality Today - Michelle Signalman
Tui De Roy has assembled a magnificent 240-page coffee table-style book on the incredible group of islands that first sparked the theory of evolution... These first-person essays by 30 of the world's top Galapagos researchers reveal their amazing discoveries and achievements in exhaustively mapping patterns of extinction, the discovery of new species, and the wonderment of continual survival adaptations. Through their stories and experiences we come to learn more about the challenges and success of conservation efforts through the years... In 2007, human intervention in this natural habitat prompted UNESCO to put Galapagos on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. Galapagos: Preserving Darwin's Legacy reaffirms the importance of preserving this unique habitat, and presents its message in a way you can proudly share with your family and visitors to your home.
American Scientist - Rick MacPherson
The spectacular photographs in Tui De Roy's Galápagos: Preserving Darwin's Legacy capture the islands at their best. This large-format book is utterly beautiful and also quite substantive. De Roy, a photographer, writer and conservationist who grew up in the Galápagos, has assembled a series of essays about scientific fieldwork in the Galápagos written by geologists, hydrologists, oceanographers, and of course researchers from nearly every subfield of biology, from botany to animal behavior. . Many are highly respected experts... All of the articles are lavishly illustrated and written in an easily accessible, jargon-free style... I caught myself smiling as I paged through the book and revisited memories of snorkeling with curious Galápagos penguins... The book's text and photographs communicate well the stark beauty of the landscape and the amazing species that inhabit it. They are truly endless forms most beautiful.
Magill Book Reviews, Salem Press, EBSCO - Margaret A. Koger
Galapagos: Preserving Darwin's Legacy is an impassioned plea for expanded research and international cooperation to maintain the ecological health of the renowned archipelago... At once beautiful and thought-provoking, De Roi's survey should marshal public support for continuing efforts to conserve the islands' irreplaceable ecosystem.
Ecuador www.Ecoventura.com
The text flows from an intimate knowledge of, and deep love for, the Galapagos, and the quality of imagery reflects the author's recently awarded place as one of the world's top twenty wildlife photographers. As the 21st century looms, the Galapagos Islands are reaching a critical crossroad from which they will emerge with difficulty. This book celebrates their vibrant essence through stunning color photographs and prose.
Library Journal
Charles Darwin's observations 170 years ago indicated evidence of evolutionary processes in a nearly intact microcosm untouched by outside influences. In the intervening years, researchers have brought funding, and tourists have introduced elements of damage to the Galápagos Islands' fragile ecosystem. Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Galápagos National Park and to promote the future preservation of this archipelago, this is an anthology of authoritative essays by international scientists of note and local naturalists—experts in the islands' volcanoes, plants, and exotic species. Accompanying the pieces are the stunning 600 color photographs by editor de Roy, who was raised and lived here for 40 years and is considered to be the world's most respected photographer of the these islands. VERDICT These readable essays and stunning photographs are highly recommended for amateur and professional naturalists and will grace many coffee tables.—Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll.-Penn Valley, Kansas City, MO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554074846
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/24/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tui de Roy is a naturalist, an expert on Galapagos and the world's preeminent Galapagos photographer. She is the author and photographer of New Zealand, The Andes and Albatross. She lives in New Zealand.

Sarah Darwin is a botanist and descendant of Charles Darwin. She lives in the United Kingdom.

Contributing writers include: Dennis Geist, volcanologist, University of Idaho; Julian Sachs, paleoclimatologist, University of Washington; Conley K. McMullen, botanist, James Madison University, Virginia; Jack S. Grove, naturalist and research associate, Section of Ichthyology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; Alex Hearn, adjunct marine biologist, University of California- Davis; Martin Wikelski and Michael Romero, physiological ecologists, Max Planck Institute, Germany, and Tufts University, Massachusetts; Peter and
Rosemary Grant, evolutionary biologists, Princeton University, New Jersey; Patricia Parker, disease ecologist, WildCare institute, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri; David Anderson, evolutionary biologist, Wake Forest University, North Carolina; Kathryn Huyvaert, ecologist, Colorado State University; Karl Campbell, Island Conservation, California; Godfrey Merlen, naturalist and independent researcher, WildAid, Galapagos, Ecuador.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Map of the Galápagos Islands

Introduction
Prologue: A World Flagship of Inspiration

Tui De Roy, Naturalist, Photographer and Independent Galápagos Expert, New Zealand

Foreword: Galápagos Research, A Family Tradition
Sarah Darwin, Botanist and Charles Darwin Descendant, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom

The Galápagos National Park: Half a Century Dedicated to Conservation
Edgar Muñoz, Director, Galápagos National Park, Galápagos, Ecuador

The Charles Darwin Foundation: History of a Science and Conservation Vision
Peter Kramer, President, Charles Darwin Foundation, Galápagos, Ecuador

Research
1 Islands on the Move: Significance of Hotspot Volcanoes

Dennis Geist, Volcanologist, University of Idaho, United States

2 Living Water: Investigating an Elusive Element
Noémi d'Ozouville, Hydrogeologist, Independent Researcher, Galápagos, Ecuador

3 Paleoclimate and the Future: A Knife-edge Balance
Julian P. Sachs, Paleoclimatologist, University of Washington, United States

4 Vertebrate Diversity: The Long View
David W. Steadman, Ornithologist, Florida Museum of Natural History, United States

5 Lichen Discoveries: Bright, Bold Color Specks, Tiny and Overlooked
Frank Bungartz, Cryptogamic Botanist, Charles Darwin Research Station, Galápagos, Ecuador

6 Insular
Flora: More than 'Wretched-looking Little Weeds'

Conley K. McMullen, Botanist, James Madison University, Virginia, United States

7 Sunflower Trees and Giant Cacti: Vegetation Changes over Time
Ole Hamann, Botanist, University of Copenhagen Botanic Garden, Denmark

8 On the Snails' Trail: Evolution and Speciation Among a Vanishing Tribe
Christine Parent and Guy Coppois, Evolutionary Ecologist and Malacologist, University of Texas at Austin, United States and Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

9 Inshore Fishes: The Case of the Missing Damsel
Jack S. Grove, Naturalist and Research Associate, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, United States

10 Shark Migrations: Discovering the Golden Triangle
Alex Hearn, Adjunct Marine Biologist,
Charles Darwin Research Station, Galápagos; Biometry Laboratory, UC-Davis, United States

11 Giant Tortoises: Mapping their Genetic Past and Future
Adalgisa Caccone and Jeffrey Powell, Evolutionary Geneticists, Yale University, Connecticut, United States

12 Marine Iguanas: Life on the Edge
L. Michael Romero and Martin Wikelski, Physiological Ecologists, Tufts University, Massachusetts, United States and Max Planck Institute, Germany

13 Land Iguanas: Emergence of a New Species
Gabriele Gentile, Zoologist, Tor Vergata University, Italy

14 Darwin's Finches: Studying Evolution in Action
B. Rosemary Grant and Peter R. Grant, Evolutionary Biologists, Princeton University, New Jersey, United States

15 A Most Unusual Hawk: One Mother and
Several Fathers

Patricia Parker, Ecologist, University of Missouri at St. Louis, United States

16 Nazca Booby Behavior: Some Evolutionary Surprises
Dave Anderson, Evolutionary Biologist, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, United States

17 The Waved Albatross: The Family Affairs of a Critically Endangered Species
Kathryn P. Huyvaert, Ecologist, Colorado State University, United States

18 Penguins on the Equator: Hanging On By a Thread
Hernan Vargas, Ornithologist, The Peregrine Fund, Panama

19 The Flightless Cormorant: The Evolution of Female Rule
Carlos A. Valle, Evolutionary Biologist, San Francisco de Quito University, Ecuador

20 Sea Lions and Fur Seals: Cold Water Species on the
Equator

Fritz Trillmich, Behavioral Biologist, University of Bielefeld, Germany

21 Parasites and Pathogens: Threats to Native Birds
Patricia Parker, Disease Ecologist and Senior Scientist, WildCare Institute, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri, United States

Restoration
22 Success in Biological Control: The Scale and the Ladybird

Charlotte Causton, Adjunct Entomologist, Charles Darwin Research Station, Galápagos, Ecuador

23 Saving 'Lost' Plants: Finding and Nurturing the Survivors
Alan Tye, Botanist, Pacific Regional Environment Program, Samoa

24 Reign of the Giant Tortoises: Repopulating Ancestral Islands
Linda J. Cayot and Washington Tapia, Ecologist and Natural Resource Manager, Galápagos Conservancy, United States and Technical
Department, Galápagos National Park, Galápagos, Ecuador

25 Project Isabela: Ecosystem Restoration through Mega-eradication
Karl Campbell, Island Conservation, California, United States

26 Reports from the Front: Personal Accounts from National Park Field Staff
Wilson Cabrera and Omar Garcia, Hunter and Captain, Galápagos National Park, Ecuador

27 A Perspective on People and the Future: The Search for Harmony
Graham Watkins, Biologist and Executive Director, Charles Darwin Foundation, Galápagos, Ecuador

28 Reflections: 'Noe reall Islands...," but Paradise
Godfrey Merlen, Natural ist and Independent Researcher, Galápagos, Ecuador

Friends of Galápagos Around the World
Acknowledgments

Galápagos Vertebrate Checklist
Further Reading
Index

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Preface

Prologue: A World Flagship of Inspiration
Tui De Roy

HALF A CENTURY AGO a bold vision was born: to celebrate 100 years since the publication of Charles Darwin's revolutionary book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, the world would join forces to preserve the islands that had helped formulate his ideas, and which in turn had changed scientific thinking forever. In 1959, the government of Ecuador declared the Galápagos Archipelago its first national park, while scientists and naturalists from around the world created the international Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). Thus, 97% of all land areas, excluding small enclaves already colonized by a few hundred settlers, would be preserved forever, and a permanent research station would gather the knowledge needed to support the government in the wise administration of the islands.

Thanks to this unique collaboration between Ecuador and the world, many aspects of the Galápagos ecosystem are in better condition today than they were back then. Endemic species on the brink of extinction have been bred back to healthy numbers, and destructive introduced animals have been removed from many of the islands, returning them to a near-pristine state in several cases. Numerous scientific discoveries have also come to light — and continue to do so at an astonishing pace — including a bevy of new species and the rediscovery of some plants and animals once believed extinct. Together, these accomplishments have earned the Galápagos Islands the reputation as a world flagship of conservation.

Nowadays the pace of the work has vastly accelerated, with ever more ambitious projects undertaken, and formidable new challenges emerging and multiplying. As the CDF and the Galápagos National Park (GNP) pull together to tackle increasingly demanding tasks, it is time to pause and celebrate. On the occasion of four combined anniversaries — the 50th year of both the GNP and the CDF, 150 years since the publication of Darwin's tome on evolution, together with Darwin's 200th birthday — this book aims to illuminate many of those ground breaking accomplishments, along with sobering lessons applicable to the future.

Surprisingly perhaps, much of the initial international impetus to conserve Galápagos first emanated from faraway Belgium, which has hosted the permanent legal home of the CDF ever since. From the outset, the Belgian government, with its long tradition of scientific exploration in Africa, Antarctica and beyond, through the CDF established a Belgian scientific mission in Galápagos. A half-century later, it has again provided generous support to make the publication of this book possible.

Coincidentally, my own roots, too, originate in Belgium. In part inspired by many of those grandfathers of Galápagos conservation, in 1955 my parents left my birth country, before I was two years old, to join a handful of pioneers already living in the islands. So it is perhaps fitting that my profession has followed a path in conservation photography and writing, much of it focused on Galápagos.

When I began to approach long-standing researchers and conservation experts for contributions to this book, I was unprepared for the overwhelmingly positive responses I would receive. These were people who have dedicated their lives to Galápagos — unraveling its natural mysteries as well as mapping out solutions to the ever-mounting threats looming ahead. Little did I realize that in the subsequent months of editing I would find myself immersed in a wondrous world of discovery about a place I thought I knew so well. Each contributor has written a special essay, revealing in his or her own words their most outstanding contributions to our understanding of — and ability to care for — these magical islands.

My intimate familiarity with Galápagos enabled me to work very closely with the authors, the resulting email correspondence adding up to more than 2000 messages, many of them fascinating, in-depth exchanges of ideas. In some cases, our daily flurries of communications took on a breathless pace as we bounced questions and answers back and forth, both sides admitting to finding the process itself to be a stimulating and thought-provoking experience. I even had the satisfaction of learning that some of my reasoning helped generate new directions for future research. Chapter after chapter, a myriad facets of Galápagos research and analysis emerged that had not previously been publicized to the lay audience, beginning with Sarah Darwin's reflections upon a family history of Galápagos research — from her great-great-grandfather Charles Darwin to her own work on threats to the endemic
Galápagos tomatoes.

On these pages the reader will travel from the deep inner workings of 'hotspot' volcanoes to how the convolutions of our atmosphere have molded an ecosystem designed around feast-or-famine conditions. We peek into past species' compositions by exploring fossil records in caves, and decipher rainfall records encrypted in lake-floor sediments. We learn of baffling extinctions, whether natural or man-induced, and are enthralled by the recent discovery of hundreds of species new to science, from lichens and mollusks to the enigmatic pink iguana, whose genetic lineage places it at the dawn of Galápagos time scales.

For the first time, we can follow the oceanic wanderings of hammerhead sharks, revealing an island-hopping 'golden triangle' across the eastern tropical Pacific, and begin to appreciate the reasons why the majestic waved albatross has recently slid into the International Union for the Conservation of
Nature's (IUCN's) 'critically endangered' category. We see the evolutionary process remolding species of Darwin's famous finches, even as we mourn the disappearance of an equally diverse product of adaptive radiation in the bulimulid land snails, both processes happening right before our eyes. On the behavioral front, we confront the harsh world of fur seal pups and booby chicks, sacrificing their siblings in their bid for survival, while females rule the roost among both endemic hawks and flightless cormorants. Some mysteries endure, like why albatrosses take their eggs for a wander while incubating, or the storm petrels whose nests have never been found. Inevitably, we encounter some contradictory conclusions between authors, whose very different studies lead to divergent interpretations, for example, climate predictions and whether lost forms of Darwin's finches represent species extinctions or just lost island varieties.

These accounts also remind us again and again of the extreme fragility of Galápagos. There are heartrending details about the ravages wrought by alien diseases, climate change and the first-ever oil spill, counterbalanced by the exhilarating story of successfully applied biological warfare. The re-emergence of an endemic mammal believed extinct for nearly a century, and likewise the presence of tortoise hybrids long gone from their original islands, fill us with renewed hope for 'lost' species. The tide turns on ecological devastation when we read about the world's largest successful feral animal eradication project, or the restoration of the Española tortoise, from a mere few survivors to a wild population that is now self-expanding after more than 30 years of captive breeding and repatriation. And finally, we ponder the future, listening to the advice of experts on how to avoid a very plausible biological holocaust due to ever-increasing contact with the rest of the world.

This unique collection is an evocative, authoritative anthology to nurture the curious mind and to stretch our imaginations. Above all, it is a glorious celebration of what we have learned about Darwin's famed 'natural laboratory of evolution,' and what it will take to preserve it.

Foreword: Galápagos Research
A Family Tradition
Sarah Darwin

I felt very honoured when

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Galapagos

    Galapagos was a wonderful choice for reading pleasure. Very informative.

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