Monday, June 20, 2022

Galapagos Land Iguana

There are three species of land iguana in the Galapagos Islands: (a) the Galapagos land iguana, subject of this post; (b) the Santa Fe land iguana found on the Island of Santa Fe; and (c) the pink Galapagos land iguana found only in the vicinity of the Wolf Volcano on northern Isabela Island. 
This is the first beauty we saw.

The Galapagos land iguana is found on Baltra, North Seymour, South Plaza, Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz Islands. We saw one on Baltra as we left the airport on a bus for the ferry to Santa Cruz Island, some friends with us saw one at a distance near Tagus Cove on Isabela Island, and we had some wonderful sightings near Moreno Point on Isabela Island. 
The second one. 

There skin is primarily yellow with blotches of white, black and brown. 80% of its diet is prickly pear cactus, including the fruit, flowers, pads and spines. It gets most of its moisture from the cactus, but does drink from pools of water in the rainy season. 
The third, with a very cool head. 

The fourth.

They were extinct on Santiago Island by 2019, but 1,000 of them were transplanted there that year. They were also extinct on Santa Cruz Island in 1976, killed by feral dogs. The last 60 survivor's were captured by the Charles Darwin Research Station and their progeny were presumably the source  of iguanas for Santiago, and I assume they have also been reintroduced onto Santa Cruz Island. 
The fifth.
They are amazingly large and tame. 
The sixth and most colorful. 


  1. I love the photo of the one with the open mouth! These iguanas are a lot cuter than their marine iguana cousins, and they have a lot more personality.

  2. It is amazing how many iguanas the galapagos has.