Galapagos Islands Volcanic Eruption Threatens Unique Pink Iguanas

The Wolf volcano atop one of the Galapagos Islands erupted in early hours on Monday for the first time in 33 years. The volcanic eruption threatens the local ecosystem, which is home to the unique species of pink iguanas. Located on the Isabela Island, the Wolf volcano is a little over a mile high. Ecuador’s Galapagos islands are rich in flora and fauna.

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These islands are famous for inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution when he visited the islands on the HMS Beagle in 1835. The Galapagos Islands are located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Local authorities said that the volcano started spewing fire, smoke and lava in the early morning of May 25th. However, the Wolf volcano is not located in a populated area. So, there is little risk to the human population, said the Galapagos National Park on Twitter.

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The park also posted images showing a dark plume billowed overhead, about six miles high. The Environment Ministry said that the lava from Wolf volcano was pouring down the southern face. Fortunately, the endangered pink iguanas inhabit the northern side of the volcano. The ministry expects the animals to escape the threat. Pink iguanas are extremely prone to sudden genetic, demographic and environmental changes.

Lava flow could harm marine life

The lava flow could harm the marine life as it reaches the sea. Though the human population is unlikely to be severely affected by the eruption, the Geophysics Institute said some of the smoke clouds could descend upon them. Isabela Island is the biggest in the Galapagos archipelago, where pink iguanas share the habitat with yellow iguanas and giant turtles.

Wolf volcano is the tallest point in the Galapagos archipelago, which consists of 19 islands. According to local authorities, these islands have a human population of approximately 25,000. Last month, a seismic activity was also recorded on the same Isabela Island.

The volcanic eruption in Galapagos comes just a few weeks after the eruption of Chile’s Calbuco Volcano.