Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I – Geography
In News: Chinese fishing fleet entered the Galapagos region and Ecuador has officially expressed its “discomfort” to China over the fishing vessels.
- The Galapagos Islands, spread over almost 60,000 sq km, are a part of Ecuador, and are located in the Pacific Ocean around 1,000 km away from the South American continent.
- The giant tortoises found here – ‘Galápagos’ in old Spanish– give the islands its name.
- Ecuador made a part of the Galapagos a wildlife sanctuary in 1935, and the sanctuary became the Galapagos National Park in 1959. In 1978, the islands became UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site.
- The Galapagos Islands host a wide array of aquatic wildlife, including marine iguanas, fur seals, and waved albatrosses.