Galapagos Islands celebrate 40 years of World Heritage Site status

Quito : The Ecuadorian Galapagos Islands celebrated 40 years of the declaration of the archipelago as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Ecuador President Lenin Moreno, tweeted on Saturday: "We celebrate one more anniversary of the declaration of Galapagos as the World Heritage Site. Let's preserve and protect the Enchanted Islands, Ecuador's legacy to the future of humanity."

In 1978, this title was awarded to the archipelago for its collection of flora and fauna unique in the world, a large part of whose species are endemic, which led to the islands management by a special regime that safeguards its conservation.

The archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean at 972 km from the Ecuadorian coastline and has tourism as its main source of income with around 200,000 visitors a year.

The islands are home to species including sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, whales, coral reefs, frigatebirds, iguanas, lizards, cormorants, albatrosses, sea lions and penguins.

Popularly known as Enchanted Islands, they are located on the equatorial line crossing the north of Isabela Island, the site of numerous earthquakes due to the tectonic plates nearby and is the second most active volcanic archipelago on the planet, after Hawaii.