Galapagos Islands History
Galapagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean, about 600 miles west of Ecuador, on the west coast of South America. Galapagos islands were discovered by Tomas de Berlanga in 1535 accidentally happened during the trip from Panama to Peru.
Galapagos islands appeared on a world map in 1570 when Abraham Ortelius designed a map of the Galapagos islands that called the Isolas de Galapagos or the islands of the tortoises based on description by the sailors because of many tortoises inhabiting the islands.
In the 17th century, The Galapagos islands became a hideout for British Buccaneers that pirated Spanish ship. In the early of 18th century, British whalers and seal hunters visited the island regularly to set up an industry in the middle of the Pacific ocean.
In 1800, a makeshift post office was established on Floreana and still exist until today. The first man known settled on the islands was Patrick Watkins, an Irish crew member on Bristih ship was put ashore at Floreana in 1807. In 1832, Galapagos islands were annexed by Ecuador as a territory. The early settlers established small farms on Floreana and Santa Cruz.
Chales Darwin visited the islands in 1835 as the official naturalist on the voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. It became clear to Darwin that overtime, different species adapt to their environment in Galapagos islands. Each small island has its own characteristic species of bird, tortoise and lizard.
Galapagos islands have been given the official name Archipelago de Colon in honor of Chistopher Columbus by the Ecuador’s government. The archipelago later appointed to a national park. It is managed by the National Park Service of Ecuador.
Since its founding in 1964, Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands largely a place of scientific research and tourism. Today, scientific expeditions are important sources of information about how to preserve the fragile ecosystems of Galapagos islands.
Tourism in Galapagos islands has grown considerably in the last few decades. Because of the increasing numbers of visitors will impact to the preservation of the islands become greater.