Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This is an old webpage carried forward to our new site. Please note that some of the information might be out of date and we probably have newer footage.
The Galapagos Islands are about 600 miles west of South America. Virtually the entire land area of the island archipelago is under the administration of the Ecuador Park Service. Many of the islands are uninhabited.
The islands were of course made famous by Charles Darwin as they were inspirational in the development of this theory of evolution. His subsequent observations of the finches that were collected during his voyage lead him to his ideas about adaptation and natural selection. While at the islands he made notes on other wildlife species such as the iguanas (he was not a fan), the tortoises (he expressed no concern about the rates of harvest), and other wildlife.
To truly see all that the Galapagos Islands have to offer you should consider a cruise. For example, some species such as the wave albatross, land iguana, and Galapagos penguin, are only found on certain islands. Other species such as the lava lizards and marine iguanas differ dramatically between the islands in terms of coloration and other features.
Galapagos Islands Stock Footage
Perhaps the hardest part about filming wildlife and nature at the Galapagos Islands is simply getting there. But once you are there you are stepping into a world unlike any other. The wildlife has almost no fear of people, and that includes species like the various booby birds, the Galapagos sea lions, and Galapagos hawk, and the marine and land iguanas. In fact you will often find yourself watching your step so you don’t step on an animal.
When travelling to the Galapagos to film or take pictures of wildlife you can leave the large lens at home. There’s really no need for it. In fact bulky equipment is a hassle as you may often be getting into or out of a boat (i.e., pangas) as you visit one island after another. And you really should plan on seeing as many islands as possible as they all differ in terms of topography, habitat, history, and wildlife. Remember to bring underwater gear as the marine world is rich in wildlife, although the waters can be somewhat murky during some seasons due to the rich primary productivity.
Somewhat surprisingly one of the more difficult species to film in the wild is the Galapagos tortoise. This is due in part to the fact that many of the populations are extirpated. There are some captive rearing programs that offer relatively good filming opportunities, the most popular of which is the Charles Darwin Research Center on the edge of Puerto Ayoro.