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Galapagos : Preserving Darwin's Legacy,9781554074846

Galapagos : Preserving Darwin's Legacy

by
ISBN13:

9781554074846

ISBN10:
1554074843
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
8/24/2009
Publisher(s):
Firefly Books Ltd
List Price: $49.95
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Summary

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

Table of Contents

Map of the Galápagos Islands
Introduction
Prologue: A World Flagship of Inspiration
Foreword: Galápagos Research, A Family Tradition
The Galápagos National Park: Half a Century Dedicated to Conservation
The Charles Darwin Foundation: History of a Science and Conservation Vision
Research
Islands on the Move: Significance of Hotspot Volcanoes
Living Water: Investigating an Elusive Element
Paleoclimate and the Future: A Knife-edge Balance
Vertebrate Diversity: The Long View
Lichen Discoveries: Bright, Bold Color Specks, Tiny and Overlooked
Insular Flora: More than 'Wretched-looking Little Weeds'
Sunflower Trees and Giant Cacti: Vegetation Changes over Time
On the Snails' Trail: Evolution and Speciation Among a Vanishing Tribe
Inshore Fishes: The Case of the Missing Damsel
Shark Migrations: Discovering the Golden Triangle
Giant Tortoises: Mapping their Genetic Past and Future
Marine Iguanas: Life on the Edge
Land Iguanas: Emergence of a New Species
Darwin's Finches: Studying Evolution in Action
A Most Unusual Hawk: One Mother and Several Fathers
Nazca Booby Behavior: Some Evolutionary Surprises
The Waved Albatross: The Family Affairs of a Critically Endangered Species
Penguins on the Equator: Hanging On By a Thread
The Flightless Cormorant: The Evolution of Female Rule
Sea Lions and Fur Seals: Cold Water Species on the Equator
Parasites and Pathogens: Threats to Native Birds
Restoration
Success in Biological Control: The Scale and the Ladybird
Saving 'Lost' Plants: Finding and Nurturing the Survivors
Reign of the Giant Tortoises: Repopulating Ancestral Islands
Project Isabela: Ecosystem Restoration through Mega-eradication
Reports from the Front: Personal Accounts from National Park Field Staff
A Perspective on People and the Future: The Search for Harmony
Reflections: 'Noe reall Islands...," but Paradise
Friends of Galápagos Around the World
Acknowledgments
Galápagos Vertebrate Checklist
Further Reading
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Prologue: A World Flagship of Inspiration Tui De RoyHALF 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 t


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