Santiago (James) Island

The Galápagos Islands

Pix from a Coolscan 5700

Galapagos Fur Seal, dozing

There are many more Galapágos Fur Seals, Arctocephalus galapagoensis, than Galápagos Sea Lions, Zalophus californianus wollebaecki, on the islands but they are much less likely to be seen by visitors. One of the main viewing sites is the fur seal grottoes on Santiago island.

Even there, there were very few of them, mostly snoozing in shady crevices, which is what the guidebooks say they do.
Although from the same family, 'eared seals' as the Sea Lions, they are much smaller and not at all thigmotactic (I love that word!) and are usually seen alone, or a mother with pup.
The Galápagos Fur seals are much smaller than both the Galápagos Sea Lions and the Cape Fur Seals I saw last year in Namibia. These seemed to be much more like the Galápagos Sea Lions in sizes, and were hauled out in huge groups, though perhaps not so 'cuddly-cuddly' as the Sea Lions here.

There were plenty of Galápagos Sea Lions around to compare with the Fur Seals.

Galapagos Sea Lion

Sallylightfoot Crab eating fish

The trouble, as usual, was trying to see and to photograph everything in the time available. John and Armin put me on to this Sally Lightfoot Crab Grapsus grapsus which was feeding on a fish.

This young Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax violaceus of the endemic sub-species pauper was also in the area.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, juvenile

Yellow-crowned Night-heron, adult

Adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. Sorry about the very poor quality of the picture, and the one above.
<excuse>The light levels were low </excuse>.

Lava Lizard female

I 'grabbed' this shot of a female Galápagos Lava Lizard, Microlophus (Tropidurus) albemarlensis. John has pointed out that since it has a distinctive crest it's probably a male: but the Field Guide says only the females have the orange colouration on their heads/necks.

The Islands







San Cristóbal

Santa Cruz

Santa Fé


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Seymour Norte



The Wildlife


Diary 2004

Diary 2005

Complete Index


Bartolomé  ¦   Española  ¦   Fernandina  ¦   Floreana  ¦   Genovesa  ¦
   Isabela  ¦   North Seymour  ¦   San Cristóbal  ¦   Santa Cruz  ¦   Santa Fé  ¦   Santiago

Text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
Email: liz [at] v-liz [dot] com
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