Blue footed boobies under threat
As anyone who has visited can tell you, there is no great shortage of Galapagos Islands tourist attractions. From the stunning beaches to the volcanic landscapes and subtropical climate, the islands have plenty of natural advantages.
However, it is the unique and diverse animal life that really makes the islands stand out. With several iconic and rare animals only being found on and around the islands, including various turtle and marine species, the animals are a significant draw.
Among the Galapagos Islands, most beloved creatures are the blue-footed boobies. However, owing to difficulties breeding in recent years, some experts fear this charming and charismatic bird may be under threat.
The birds, known for their colorful feet and quirky mating dances, have seen declines in their numbers of around 50% in the last few decades. The information has been discovered and published in the Journal of Avian Conservation and Ecology. The research has estimated that colony numbers are as low as 6,400 across the islands, less than half the estimates from the late 1960s.
The first signs of the drop in numbers were noticed back in the 1990s when just 134 birds were born during an observation period. It was also noted that the decline in numbers was accompanied by a diminishing supply of sardines in the bird’s diet, an ideal source of nutrition for younger birds. And while this is thought to be a probable cause for the decline in the bird populations, scientists are still at a loss to explain why sardine numbers are falling.
It’s very important that these trends are spotted and efforts are doubled to reverse them. It is Galapagos Islands tourist attractions like this that make the islands so magical. It is one of the reasons that the islands are protected and remain largely uninhabited, with visitors instead keeping their visits to luxury yachts and tourist charters.
Hopefully, the decline in sardine numbers will be reversed, resulting in a similar reversal of blue-footed booby fortunes. These very special Galapagos Islands tourist attractions, along with many other of the islands’ natural residents need to be protected for future generations.
To see these amazing animals in their natural environment on the Galapagos is a truly incredible adventure. Hopefully, they will be protected enough to thrive so that many future generations can enjoy them too.