The Galapagos Islands: A Precious Biodiversity Hotspot
Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “Life is precious. Life is sacred. And it ought so to be observed.” Hinckley is expressing that every variety of life is exquisite and irreplaceable and it is there for us to observe and utilize to increase the quality of life overall. About six hundred miles off of the coast of Ecuador lay a biodiversity hotspot called the Galapagos Islands. This archipelago of volcanic islands, formed over four million years ago, is known for its tremendous multitude of indigenous species found nowhere else on the planet. It creates the perfect location to observe and study the ecological processes of nature, which Charles Darwin famously took advantage of when studying evolution. Unfortunately, the abundance of different species in the islands is drastically declining due to many intrusive influences. The Ecuadorian government, along with multiple conservancy organizations is working together to sustain the lives and prevent the extinction of these animals. Preservation of the Galapagos Islands, including protection against invasive species, climate change, and over exploitation, is necessary to conserve the biodiversity of the unique and rare fauna that is indigenous to the Galapagos Islands.
The broad biodiversity of the archipelago is under threat and it is essential that preservation of the islands be imposed. Biodiversity is important in any environment, because it boosts the productiveness within an ecosystem where each species has a certain role, or niche, they have to play to maintain the success of their habitat. A more diverse population will result in soil formation and protection, nutrient storage and recycling, climate stability, and efficient recovery from unpredictable events (Shah). By preserving the unique biodiversity of the Galapagos, the communities of animals on the islands will, in turn, be more lucrative. As the variety of life increases in a community, there will be more organisms to fulfill the ecological duties that are presented by each niche in the ecosystem. This results in each of the responsibilities of the niches to be completed with maximum potential, making the ecosystem productive and advantageous.
The collection of life on the Galapagos Islands is extremely remarkable with over three hundred eighty endemic species (Barter). The Galapagos Islands has one of the world’s most varied compositions of species and this is because of the vast array of ways organisms were introduced to the archipelago. Marine currents carried the majority of species to the islands, but other methods of transport include rafts of matted branches, driftwood, bamboo, etc. carrying land animals and insects and winds carrying seeds and birds (Barter). The birds that migrated to the island brought along seeds and other tiny organisms that had been stored in their gut, or attached to their feathers. After years of isolation from invasive species and no disturbance from...