Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marine Mammals

Mammals are not very evident on Galapagos. Those that were introduced in centuries past have proven to be very harmful to the unique wildlife on the islands. As a result, feral pigs, dogs, cats, rats and goats have been eradicated over the past decades, with the hope that these will not impact the wildlife's future. Sea mammals are the only naturally occuring mammals, mostly sea lions. These playful creatures can always be counted on to entertain, and they are really fun to watch
These are fur sea lions, not as plentiful as regular sea lions. We only saw these on one island, James (Santiago) Island.
Sea lion pup waiting for mom to come back for a feeding.
This was our second "wet landing" site, on Gardner Bay on Espanola Island. We walked the entire length of the beach, then snorkeled. Some did deep water snorkeling, out near the boat.
Beautiful beach, we snorkeled here after walking the length of the beach.

One sad note about sea lions: the sea lion moms do not cross adopt, so if a pup's mom doesn't return, he dies. One sea lion mom came in from the sea, barked twice, and her pup came runnig up and started nursing before she was even out of the surf! Hungry little guy!

Beautiful white sand beach, our ship was in the background. Some people chose to deepwater snorkel near the rocks. I stayed near the shore, but the white sand got churned up by the waves, so you couldn't see much. But it is very beautiful here!

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