1934, seeing the need to protect the unique environment of the
Galapagos, the National Assembly of Ecuador passed protective
legislation and created wildlife sanctuaries on some of the
islands. Then, in 1959, as 95% of the islands and 50,000 sq miles
of surrounding ocean was granted protection, an organization of
scientists and conservationists established the Charles Darwin
Foundation and the Charles Darwin Research Center, which
officially opened in 1964. Four years later, the Galapagos
National Park Service was formed. UNESCO to place the Galapagos
Islands on the World Heritage List in 1978, thereby bringing
significant international pressure towards safeguarding this
The Galapagos National Park Service works hand
in hand with the Charles Darwin Research Station implementing
their common goals of conservation and preservations of the
natural resources with the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos
Marine Reserve. In 1986, the creation of the Marine Resources
Reserve expanded the preserved area to include more than 27,000
square miles of ocean.
National Park Rules
No plant, animal, or remains of such
(including shells, bones, and pieces of wood), or other natural
objects should not be removed or disturbed.
Be careful not to transport any live material
to the islands, or from island to island.
Do not take any food to the uninhabited
islands, for the same reason.
Do not touch or handle the animals.
Do not feed the animals. It can be dangerous
to you, and in the long run would destroy the animals' social
structure and breeding habits.
Do not startle or chase any animal from its
resting or nesting spot.
Stay within the areas designated as visiting
Do not leave any litter on the islands, or
throw any off your boat.
Do not deface the rocks.
Do not buy souvenirs or objects made of
plants or animals from the islands.
Do not visit the islands unless accompanied
by a licensed National Park Guide.
Restrict your visits to officially approved
Show your conservationist attitude.