Data generated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that sustainable tourism is the key to the survival of the Galapagos Islands’ flora and fauna.
With travel greatly restricted, data has shown that flightless cormorants and penguins have seen their populations soar by 16% and 34%, respectively. The growth is attributed to the lack of human visitors, which massively reduced disturbances on the islands.
The key to the archipelago’s future survival lies with sustainable tourism, with Michael Eiseman, the co-founder of Touring Galapagos stating:
“Lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic have had a paradoxical impact on the Galapagos; native animal species have thrived as a result of limited disturbances but the halt in tourism has had a devastating impact on local businesses, with many struggling to stay afloat. That’s why it’s important that we get tourists back to exploring the area as soon as possible, but in a way that is both sustainable and educates them about the fragility of the habitats.”
The move to rewild the Galapagos, promote sustainable tourism, and help conserve one of our planet’s natural wonders has been supported by a $43 million pledge from Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio.