When most people think
of the Galapagos Islands, they think of Charles Darwin, exotic animals and
tropical vacations. However, while the Galapagos is filled with exciting
opportunities that no other place has to offer, its ecosystem is fragile and
tourism needs to be balanced with responsible stewardship.
All traditional tourist
activities, even on a boat, place demands on the Islands –
food production and waste disposal being the most immediate. In addition
to the pressure that new visitors create, birds and other invasive species
threaten the habitats of the endemic species of the Galapagos. Without
vigilant upkeep, native plants and animals will die out, extinguishing a
uniqueness that should be preserved for all future generations.