Please select your home edition
Pantaenius 2022 - SAIL & POWER 2 LEADERBOARD ROW

World ARC 2024-25 - World wildlife day in Galapagos

by World Cruising Club 3 Mar 18:57 UTC

Celebrating World Wildlife Day on 3 March - and for the World ARC 2024 fleet it's an honour to be in the Galápagos Islands on this day, where over 80% of the land birds and 97% of reptiles and land mammals are totally endemic to the archipelago.

Located in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Ecuador, Galápagos has one of the most pristine island ecosystems on Earth, and 97% of the land area is designated as a protected National Park. It's one of the best places for interacting with animals in the wild at close range, both above and below the water.

Here's just a few of the creatures we've spent time with during our visit to Galápagos:

Marine iguanas are the only lizard in the world with the ability to live and forage at sea. The adults are black for most of the year. However, the males change colour during the mating season, during which they fight for dominance over harems of females and will fiercely defend them from rival males. They grow to a maximum size of 1.5 metres and have a lifespan of between five - 12 years.

The most famous resident of the Galápagos Islands is the Galápagos giant tortoise. In fact, the very word 'Galápagos' derives from an old Spanish word for tortoises! An endangered species, they live to over 100 and are an average size of 1.5 metres. They spend around 16 hours each day resting, and the remainder they enjoy eating grasses, fruits and cactus pads.

The most abundant marine mammal in the archipelago is the Galápagos sea lion. Their smooth and streamlined body shape, make them efficient hunters, especially of sardines, which are their main prey. Males can weigh up to 400kg - four times that of females - and their average lifespan is 15 to 20 years. Diving depths of up to almost 600 metres, sea lions can stay underwater for over ten minutes.

The blue-footed booby is one of three booby species found on Galápagos, and their brightly coloured feet make them one of the easiest birds to identify. With an average lifespan of 17 years, they are large, distinctive birds, found along the Eastern Pacific coastline, where they often nest on small islands with rocky coasts. Their large blue feet play an important role in courtship and females are thought to select males with brighter feet, as they are an indicator of his overall condition and thus the quality of his genes.

A favourite with many, the Galápagos penguin is one of the smallest penguins in the world. It is the most northerly occurring penguin species, nesting entirely in the tropics, with some colonies living on the northern tip of Isabela in the Northern Hemisphere. They are extremely agile underwater, reaching speeds of 35 km per hour when hunting. Their diet consists primarily of cold water-schooling fish, such as anchovies, sardines and mullet, which are able to live in the Galapagos Marine Reserve thanks to the cold waters of the Humboldt Current.

World Wildlife Day is for connecting people with the natural world and inspiring continued learning. The theme for 2024, is connecting people and planet: exploring digital innovation in wildlife conservation.

Related Articles

ARC Europe 2024 sails the Atlantic to Europe
32 yachts departed from Bermuda bound for the Azores, then Europe 32 boats are sailing in the 24th edition of ARC Europe, World Cruising Club's west-to-east transatlantic rally from the Caribbean or the US, heading to Europe via Bermuda and the Azores. Posted on 22 May
World ARC 2024-25 - Leg 5 departs Bora Bora
The small South Pacific island of Niue is the next port of call For their next port of call, to the small South Pacific island of Niue, the World ARC fleet divides into two groups. Posted on 16 May
World ARC 2024-25 - Beautiful Bora Bora
The Pearl of the Pacific When you take in the iconic and striking mountainous backdrop, coupled with a mesmerising lagoon and an array of white-sand beaches, it's easy to see why Bora Bora is nicknamed "the Pearl of the Pacific". Posted on 16 May
ARC Europe 2024 is arriving in Bermuda
The first boat due to arrive on the docks in St George's Harbour on 16 May ARC Europe 2024 is arriving on the beautiful island of Bermuda! 18 out of the 34 boats in the fleet are on their way from St Maarten (Leg 1), with the first boat due to arrive on the docks in St George's Harbour on 16 May. Posted on 15 May
ARC Europe 2024 - St Maarten Tour and Beach BBQ
A half day tour around the island of St Maarten Day two of the ARC Europe 2024 program of events offered a half day tour around the island of St Maarten. Posted on 8 May
World ARC - A marvellous Marquesan celebration
Welcome event hosted by World Cruising Club and Comité du Tourisme de Nuku-Hiva With a 'Welcome to the Marquesas' event being hosted by World Cruising Club and Comité du Tourisme de Nuku-Hiva, the World ARC rally boats congregated in Taiohae Bay, on the island's southern coast. Posted on 10 Apr
World ARC 2023-24 in the Caribbean!
Returning to Grenada in style after transiting the Panama Canal Having transited the Panama Canal, leaving the tranquil waters of the Caribbean Sea some 14 months ago, the World ARC 2023-24 fleet have returned to Grenada in style! Posted on 24 Mar
World ARC - A closely sailed start from Galapagos
The sky couldn't have been bluer as 22 boats in the fleet departed Santa Cruz World ARC 2024-25 Update - Galápagos: The sky couldn't have been bluer, as 22 boats in the World ARC fleet departed Santa Cruz, Galápagos today, setting sail for the 3,000 nautical mile journey to Hiva Oa in French Polynesia. Posted on 8 Mar
Preparing for Ocean Sailing
World Cruising Club shore-based events are designed to help you get ARC-ready Our shore-based events are designed to help you get ARC-ready, whether you're signed-up or dreaming for the future. Posted on 6 Mar
ARC Portugal 2024: Social Cruise South
Start your voyage to the Mediterranean or delivery to the Canaries Start your voyage to the Mediterranean or delivery to the Canaries with this relaxed and intimate cruise in company. Meet in Plymouth for social and safety activities, before a mass crossing of the Bay of Biscay to Bayona. Posted on 6 Mar
J Composites J/99Selden 2020 - FOOTERStoneways Marine 2021 - FOOTER